Small businesses choosing home over hybrid, with average WFH business saving almost £50k a year

New findings from Novuna Business Finance suggest small businesses in the UK look set to stick with home offices in the long term, spurred on by substantial savings each month. The research found that small businesses (with fewer than 50 employees) were more likely to be choosing to work entirely from home over hybrid working well into next year, with the average savings gained by not having an office being £3,860 each month – the equivalent of over £46k a year.

The survey of more than 1,000 small business owners in the UK found 27% of small businesses had plans to continue working entirely from home until at least April next year, while 23% were planning hybrid working. For businesses with fewer than 10 employees (consisting of around 96% of all businesses in the UK*) this figure rose to 40% with just 16% considering hybrid working.

Savings a considerable incentive

By working from home, the average amount small businesses were saving on core costs and overheads was £3,860 each month.

This was comprised of:

  • Rent and rates £2,279
  • Training and development £928
  • Travel and expenses £240
  • Utilities £160
  • Staff and client entertainment £162
  • Office supplies £91

Taking control of finances

Plans for the money that they had saved included:

  • Reinvest the money back into the business (86%).
  • Almost a quarter plan to put the money into reserves for savings (23%)
  • New software (23%)
  • New equipment (20%)
  • Almost one in five (19%) planned to use the money to hire new staff
  • A further 19% plan to pay off debts
  • around one six (18%) were planning a staff bonus
  • 15% intended to use the money to pay dividends
  • while one in 12 (6%) were planning corporate social responsibility donations.

As the worst of the pandemic hopefully begins to fade, and the option of returning to a fixed workplace is put back on the table once again, we might expect to see most taking up this option and returning to ‘normal’. However, this research reminds us that it may not be the perfect solution for everyone. As with every business decision that owners make – particularly over the past 18 months – a range of factors need to be taken into consideration first, with the bottom line understandably often given a heavier weighting. The one positive that has come from this particularly challenging period has been the requirement to be far more flexible and open minded than ever before, with changes to the business that will reap benefits in the long term.

As the dust of the global pandemic begins to settle and the bigger picture becomes clearer, business leaders are assessing what is right for their business, their staff and their customers. The individual needs of a specific organisation, and their points of differences, have been exaggerated during the last 18 months, and will continue to be so throughout this period of change. Novuna Business Finance is based on understanding these differences and providing unique solutions that are right for each business.