Will the Rising Gas Prices Give Work From Home Strategies a Refuelling?

The price of gasoline is rising, and the markets are adjusting to even gloomier prospects as the war in Ukraine grinds on.
Reid Mcconkey
written by Reid Mcconkey posted on March 16, 2022

Rising Fuel Prices Forcing More Vancouver Businesses Back To “Work From Home” Environments

The price of gasoline is rising, and the markets are adjusting to even gloomier prospects as the war in Ukraine grinds on. Today, one gallon of gasoline goes at $5.61, and the price is expected to continue escalating. As it is, we are getting to a point where it is advisable to fill up your gas tank in the morning, given that prices are likely to increase by the end of the day.

When COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, there was increased migration towards in-office work. For the most part, people have been seemingly happy to resume working from the office, if for nothing else, to get out of their homes. With gas prices skyrocketing over the past couple of days, there has been an uptick in the number of workers preferring to work from home.

This just proves that remote work strategies will need to be prioritized as businesses implement their IT strategies in the future, given that it shows that diseases such as COVID aren’t the only reason to cause people to work from home. In this post, we will further explore how the recent spike has impacted work from home strategies.

Rising Gas Prices

Assessing the Current Gas Prices

Gas prices continue to increase across the country, and Canadians are feeling the pinch. According to GasBuddy, prices in British Columbia and the Northwest Territories have already surpassed the $2 mark, and other provinces such as Vancouver, Quebec, and Ontario are following suit. Around mid-last month, the national average was $1.56 per litre, according to the Canadian Automobile Association.

Regardless of where you are in Canada, the current gas prices are truly beyond any expectations. And the situation could even get worse, with companies like Shell announcing that they will halt purchasing Russian oil. We are experiencing what seems to be an energy crisis enveloped by a global security crisis. That said, with these rising costs, people are looking to cut corners to save a buck. And one way of achieving that is by working from home.

How Higher Fuel Costs Have Impacted Businesses

With gas prices hitting record highs in recent weeks, many employers are reconsidering their plans to have workers return to the office after a long period of remote work tied to the COVID pandemic. This will certainly help workers cut the costs of commuting to the office. It could also play a part in lowering gasoline prices as the demand for fuel falls.

The escalating surge in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is putting pressure on global oil supplies that were already tight in the first place. The combination of rising demand and limited supply, caused mainly by the uptick in air and car travel as COVID-19 restrictions ease, has pushed prices at the pump to the highest levels ever.

High fuel costs are definitely impacting employees. While it may not be so much as yet for some businesses, it will trickle down in time. The solution most businesses are moving towards is a hybrid mix of both office and remote work. Whereas every business is unique and has varying priorities for employees, remote work remains a viable option for executives.

With the rising gas prices, especially now that the world is becoming tense with WWIII rhetoric, businesses are opting for remote work. It is common for gas prices to surge on occasions, and in the past, businesses accepted that there was nothing they could do. But since COVID, businesses are embracing remote work as a way of dealing with such situations.

Also, in the past, employees working remotely would be a concern for most businesses. The feeling was that if all employees working from the office, they would be more effective. However, this has been proven not to be the case, and if the high gas prices stay, businesses will have no option but to adopt remote work to keep costs down and, most importantly, to ensure that employees are not burdened by commuting expenses.

Another effect that high fuel costs have had on businesses is the temporary increase of mileage reimbursement rate to compensate. Given the high fuel costs, businesses are forced to reimburse substantial amounts in gas expenditure. This consequently ends up eating into their revenue. So, by adopting remote work strategies, businesses get to cut down on some of the expenses.

On the part of employees, the soaring prices at the gas pump will certainly give them more arguments about why they should work from home. For instance, they could argue that they were productive and efficient during the pandemic period without necessarily having to commute to work. Employees could also warm up to the idea of working remotely, given that it will enable them to avoid the increased cost of automobile transportation.

In Conclusion

The economic effect of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has left many people wondering how the conflict will affect their wallets. Well, prices are shooting up, especially for gasoline, given that most countries depend on Russia for oil.

Given the recent sanctions against Russia, and some countries opting not to purchase Russian oil, gasoline prices will continue to rise. Businesses need to adopt strategies to ensure that they minimize the impact of the current energy crisis not only on their business but also on their employees. One way of achieving this feat is by adopting remote work. Doing this will ensure that your employees remain productive without having to worry about the high costs associated with commuting to work.

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