Expense control is a primary concern for any office manager. The vast majority of offices have at least a few major inefficiencies, ranging from unnecessary energy consumption to mismanagement of human resources. To build a more productive workplace, you should look for ways to reduce office expenses before you draw negative attention from upper management or compromise your organization’s profit potential.
Here are some of the top ways in which effective managers work their magic to reduce office expenses:
- Cut electricity usage. Energy inefficiency can be a major problem, particularly in large offices. Make sure that lights aren’t kept on in areas of the office that are rarely used, and switch from incandescent bulbs to fluorescent ones. Computer equipment can also drain a great deal of energy, so when the time comes to replace monitors or laptops, shop around for energy-efficient models.
- Go VoIP. Voice over Internet protocol or VoIP telecommunications services offer a far cheaper and equally reliable alternative to traditional land line or mobile phone services. You can switch to VoIP without giving up your current phone numbers, so long as you maintain an Internet connection with adequate bandwidth to manage incoming and outgoing calls.
- Manage your office supplies. Recycle your paper, toner cartridges and ink cartridges as often as possible. Some recycling facilities will pay you for toner and ink cartridges; check into this, as you can reinvest that money in replacement supplies.
- Outsource labor. Instead of hiring a new team member at full salary and benefits to take care of a new task, consider outsourcing the work to an independent contractor. You can pay a flat rate for the job and avoid typical new hire expenses such as healthcare benefits, 401(k) match, a new computer, office supplies and paid vacation time. If the task is ongoing, build a long-term relationship with a full-time freelance contractor.
- Review work processes. Document all standard office practices, and look for ways to make them more efficient. One concept that’s gained traction is the idea of the “remote office.” This allows employees to work from home, but links them with VoIP or other online communication tools. This way, you reduce office expenses by having fewer people in the office.
Make a thorough assessment of your office’s work environment. Look at materials usage, energy consumption, how human resources are used, and whether or not all processes are optimized for efficiency. Can you find any room for improvement in these areas? Share your tips!
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