HOW TO REDUCE OFFICE SPENDING SENSIBLY
If the phrase ‘reduce office spending’ conjures up an image of Scrooge denying poor Bob Cratchit a lump of coal for the fire, then think again, there’s nothing miserly about reducing waste. An office environment encourages waste. Employees assume the company they work for is affluent and therefore isn’t bothered about the small stuff, but it’s the small stuff that adds up and the bigger the company, the more it adds up to.
According to the government website ‘SME guide to energy efficiency’, ‘the average SME could reduce its energy bill by 18-25% by installing energy efficient measures with an average payback of less than 1.5 years. And it’s estimated that 40% of these savings would require zero capital cost’. A photocopier left on overnight wastes enough energy to print 1,500 copies. Heating costs increase by 8% for every 1-degree centigrade increase, so turning the heating down by 2 degrees would save £140 on a £1000 bill and the prediction is that energy prices will rise by around 30% over the next five years.
‘By installing a £100 timer to its existing heating system, the Chinese Contemporary Arts Centre in Manchester is saving £4,363 a year’.
Of course, this is not just an issue about money, all businesses should be doing their best to ensure that they reduce their carbon footprint and demonstrating that your business strives to be environmentally friendly is a key element of contemporary PR.
Develop staff awareness of how they use expenses
Another area of spending which, in the past, has encouraged waste, has been staff use of company expenses. It’s important to ensure that staff have a clear understanding of what constitutes legitimate expenses and that they are aware that they are individually accountable. By issuing your staff with a prepaid virtual card you are giving them the financial autonomy to make online purchases without any of the attendant risks of a conventional company credit card. Online purchases with a conventional credit card reveal your billing address, card number, expiration date and security code. A virtual credit card has a randomly generated number which is then associated with your bank account, but it cannot be traced back to the bank account by hackers and because it is non-physical, it cannot be cloned. The card has money loaded onto by the employer, so that staff budgets can be set individually. Employees cannot exceed the spending limit set on the card. The employer has a complete real time overview of all expenditure and can adjust budgets, set limits under specific headings or freeze the card by means of a mobile app or desktop software.
Get your staff on board
Your staff need to understand and support energy saving strategies and you need to encourage them to develop energy saving habits. There is a myth that it’s cheaper to leave lights on than turn them on and off, this is untrue. Encourage all staff to turn lights off when they are not in the room or install occupancy sensors. All electrical appliances should be unplugged when not in use. Encourage your staff to make suggestions for energy saving strategies and ensure that all new purchases are energy efficient.