Is your company shifting to remote work permanently?

There are cost benefits to managing a remote team – CFOs want to seize the opportunity

Is your company shifting to remote work permanently?

Before the coronavirus pandemic caused a massive and abrupt shift to remote work, some businesses had already been easing employees into a flexible work schedule and issuing corporate-owned devices for work-from-home use.

Today, nearly three in four CFOs polled by advisory firm Gartner are exploring the possibility of permanently moving a fraction of their workforce (5%) to a remote-work status.

“This data is an example of the lasting impact the current coronavirus crisis will have on the way companies do business,” said Alexander Bant, practice vice president of research for the Gartner Finance Practice.

READ MORE: As economic crisis looms, employers turn to old cost-cutting methods

There are cost benefits to managing a remote team, and CFOs want to seize this opportunity. Almost a quarter of senior finance leaders surveyed are looking to shift 20% of traditional on-site workers to permanent remote positions, Bant said.

Savings from this cost-containment strategy can be used to buffer the negative impact of the pandemic on a company’s resources, Gartner found.

Committing to a permanent work-from-home status is possible in large part because of the advent of Industry 4.0, in which transactions are fast becoming digital.

READ MORE: Coronavirus forces world's largest work-from-home experiment

“Most CFOs recognise that technology and society have evolved to make remote work more viable for a wider variety of positions than ever before,” Bant explained.

In finance, for example, nine in 10 CFOs believe there would be “minimal disruptions to their accounting close process” even if nearly all activities were to be handled off-site.

Now, with a distributed workforce, 20% of CFOs are staving off plans to purchase additional on-premise technology while 13% have cut back on real estate expenses.

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