Ask any CEO or entrepreneur about the biggest cost to running their business and the most common answer would be their human resources cost. The cost of hiring, training, and constantly getting the best of their employees is the biggest cost to a business. Everything else is structured around how to ensure that their employees can provide the best service to their clients – whether it be the software tools, the printing hardware, the office location and even the office furniture.
Sometimes, companies forget that all these “accessories” to making their employees productive needs to be constantly upgraded. A simple example – a slow computer may waste upto an hour each day ( in 5 to 10 second increments) simply waiting for that graphics intensive design or calculation intensive spreadsheet to move to the next screen. If the cost per hour for my middle management is approximately $ 50 per hour, the cost difference between an ordinary computer versus a top of the line high speed computer would be covered in less than a month.
We have often seen attorneys who bill at $ 400 an hour spending 10 – 20 minutes several times a day to fax or scan or copy important paperwork. This loss adds up – to the tune of thousands of dollars each month.
All these little things add up – slow computers, printers that jam constantly, inadequate online speeds, uncomfortable chairs, poor office layout – they all point in the same direction – a dramatic (but hidden) increase in the cost of doing business.
Closing thoughts – smart CEO’s have realized this and will do anything to capture those extra minutes of productivity each day. A great example is that several firms (especially in finance and law) provide fancy catered lunches on premises to their employees. Their studies have shown that employees tend to have a 15 to 30 minute lunch when eating on premises as opposed to nearly an hour when eating outside. An extra 30 minutes per employee multiplied by the number of employees make this lunch a great bargain – besides being seen as a great perk. So, in today’s economy while cutting employee costs and where fewer employees are now multi-tasking and scrambling to get work done, the best bang for your buck in 2013 and beyond is to provide better infrastructure for your employees. The returns in employee morale and your productivity would be priceless.