Clicking on the @Work link above will take you to the blog of Challenger, Gray & Christmas a huge outplacement firm. There is a lot of nasty news in this survey but my eyes are drawn to several findings that actually bode well for the future of remote/telecommute underwriting work.
- More than half (52.4 percent) of human resource executives surveyed in May said their companies had instituted salary cuts or freezes in an effort to cut costs. That was up from 27.2 percent in the same survey last January.
You may ask, how is this good news? Well, it depends upon your perspective. One of my projects consists of moving underwriting work to people rather than moving the people to where the work has traditionally been done. Work can be done anywhere if you have a computer and a decent high speed Internet connection. The only major roadblock we have is a severe case of dinosaur brains. Granted, some forms of work have to be done at a specific location. The good news is underwriting work does not.
Let’s dig deeper into the Challenger survey and find more good news. Companies are cutting costs in the following areas:
- 67% cut travel expenses
- 43% permanent layoffs
- 62% instituted a hiring freeze
- 29% cut hours
- 5% cut office space use through increased telecommuting.
The problem is this – what happens when the business environment improves and volumes increase?
Companies have painted themselves into very tight corners. Many will migrate to more of a variable cost structure to preserve the savings achieved from the measures taken during the recession.
I tell ya, I’m having a lot of fun doing what I’m doing.