When telecommuting robots cost tens of thousands of dollars, it was pretty hard to justify the expense. In any case, spotty video from choppy bandwidth made them impractical in many instances. Times have changed.
Now, telecommuting robots can be found in the price range of a laptop while fat pipe Wi-Fi delivers dependable streaming video on demand. Companies facing global competition need to streamline their operations while retaining the best talent. It’s time to take a look a new look at how much can be saved in deploying a mobile worker by proxy.
Reduced videoconferencing and travel expense – Top of the line videoconference technology can run between $200,000 and half a million. However, that’s still lower than travel expenses, which often run into the millions for busy enterprises. Telecommuting robots that eliminate even a percentage of those costs will have paid for themselves in the first fiscal year.
Lower operating costs through improved productivity – Measuring the bottom line impact of enhanced productivity is difficult, but one reliable measure is transaction speed. When interruptions and meeting times can be reduced, projects cycle faster and more hours are freed up for handling critical functions. The reduction in stress can be invaluable.
Greater employee engagement – The cost of replacing an employee is roughly 20 percent of their annual salary on average. The cost of disgruntled workers is low motivation and more sick time. Companies able to grant employees more flexible work schedules by allowing them to work from home using telepresence have a valuable competitive advantage in attracting and keeping the top talent in the market.
A comprehensive Telework Savings Calculator has been compiled by Workshifting in a report called The Bottom Line. The report details productivity increases, expense savings and smaller environmental impact from granting workers what 75 – 90 percent say they really want: the ability to choose their optimal work environment. The cost and design of telecommuting robots have now reached a practical tipping point where it is easy to see that they will be as common in business as apps and websites in the very near future.