Employers spend about 10% of their overall budget on real estate, including office space, utilities, supplies and decor, says Scott Brighton, CEO of Aurea. “[The financial drain of office maintenance] gets hidden in the cost structure of a company," he notes. "The cost of an employee to a company is generally 30% to 50% higher than their salary, because it includes things like their benefits and taxes. But most important, it's the office, a cost that is allocated towards all employees.”
Employers can instead use the money intended for real estate to boost their employees’ salaries and/or provide funding for them to build an effective at-home workspace and pay their Internet bill. "You have so many options with all of those resources,” Brighton says. "It suddenly frees you up to do amazing things that will more than make up for the perceived loss of employee engagement and collaboration that is often cited as the reason that companies want people back into the office."