What is the best way for your company to recalculate its expenses for the post-recovery period? 

Where did your company’s employees work before the COVID-19 crisis struck?

Chances are that a certain number of your people worked in your company office or offices –perhaps the largest percentage of your workforce. Then there were other employees who worked in their homes. And still others might have logged time in shared coworking spaces.

How does that compare to where your employees are working today, and to where they will work when you resume full operations?

Your Workforce Is in Flux

If you list all your people and where they are logging their time right now, chances are pretty good you will discover that your current situation has already changed dramatically– and that it will be dramatically different when you fully resume operations and get back to work, perhaps in ways like these . . .

  • Some employees discovered that they really like working from home and will prefer doing that most or all of the time.

  • Others made the decision not to return to work at all, for personal or professional reasons.

  • Others want to cutback and work fewer hours.

  • And still others want to work in shared coworking spaces near their homes instead of commuting.

  • You have acquired more employees who work at some distance from your main location or locations, and you would like to use them more in the future.

If you set up a spreadsheet and record where everyone used to work, and then create another one that shows where people will be working now, you will probably discover that the situation has changed more than you realized.

What Do Those Changes Mean for Your Budgeting and Plans?

Even small changes can exert a big impact on your expenses. Let’s say, for example, that 25% of the people who used to come into your company headquarters every day will now be working from home. If that’s the case, just look at how much empty space you will have in your main office – empty space that you will be paying for. What are you going to do to stop paying for it?

And let’s say that employees who will now be working from home for the first time expect your company to start paying for their Internet use and allied costs? And what if decide that your employees’ use of their own laptops is exposing your company data to risk, so you should equip everyone with new company-owned equipment? What will that cost?

Everything Is Shifting, But . . .

Bear in mind that although calculating your expenses for the post-recovery period can seem like a difficult project, the basic approach boils down to comparing your expenses before the pandemic to what those same expenses will be now that you are reopening.

Here's a quick checklist of expenses and expenditures to add up and compare:

  • Office space and facilities

  • Employee benefits, including health and retirement plans

  • Salaries

  • Equipment

  • Insurance

  • Internet-related expenses, including the cost of your website, routers, and other equipment

  • Inventory

  • Marketing and advertising costs, including social media marketing

  • Supplies

  • Utilities

The U.S. Small Business Administration offers a free online Business Startup Expense Calculator that you can adapt to estimate the costs of restarting your business.

Brighter, better days lie ahead for all of us. Careful planning can make them brighter still.

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