How to Manage Working from Home Costs

Many of us have been working at home from 2020 onwards due to the coronavirus pandemic. Working at home can have its advantages and disadvantages, many of which depend on the type of job role you have, what your household situation is like, and how you prefer to work. But how much does working from home cost?

The financial impacts of coronavirus

For many these are difficult financial times, due to unemployment, being furloughed, or perhaps less working hours due to covid-19. The potential long-term impacts of coronavirus on the economy are yet to be seen. Companies in some industries, for example service industries, may have needed to furlough their entire workforce due to coronavirus. These types of circumstances may have a massive financial impact on workers, but working at home can also affect you financially even if you have kept a full-time job.

Many people may find themselves needing money advice or borrowing extra credit. If you need help with fixing problems with your existing debts or finding suitable debt solutions for you, you can get in touch with MoneyFixers by filling out the easy form below to receive a confidential call from an experienced advisor.

The rise of working from home

During the coronavirus pandemic, there are many people who have suddenly become remote workers from necessity, who have otherwise always worked in an office or other physical location. Remote working from the home office, working via online video call, and flexible working are some of the ways that teams are operating where it’s not possible for employees to work in the office during the covid-19 pandemic. Some companies may have found that the return to the office is not worth the risk after risk assessments, and some have even decided not to go back to the office even after the pandemic is under control.

If you’re not sure whether or not you should be working at home, Unison has posted some advice on worker’s rights, who should be working at home, and what your pay entitlements are while you’re at home.

Some of the benefits of working from home

One of the main advantages of working from home during the coronavirus pandemic has been for people who are shielding or prefer to work remotely to reduce the risk of catching covid-19 by staying at home.

Some other benefits of working from home might be:

  • Avoiding the daily commute – many people have large expenses from their commute and spend a lot of time there. Not commuting may encourage you to save money and you may have found that you can spend the extra time working or achieving other goals;
  • Your company might be saving money – some companies can reduce their overhead costs when employees work at home, such as electricity and other essential office expenses;
  • Less distracting – this depends on your household situation and your working preferences, but for people who like to work quietly and without distraction, or who live alone, working at home can increase productivity;
  • Wearing what you like – many people spend less money on office clothes than they usually would when working from home and some people feel more comfortable.

The impacts of working from home

There are some challenges which working from home presents. Some people prefer working in a team environment or experiencing a busy office atmosphere. Others might face some logistical issues such as not having enough space at home for a home office, sharing their home with other family members who also need to use space and equipment, and maybe even juggling childcare or teaching the children at home alongside a full-time job.

Some may have found working at home to have benefits for work life balance, with some people looking find the most lucrative work at home jobs after the pandemic instead of searching for local roles. However, others could have experienced negative impacts on their work life balance due to the coronavirus, which might affect mental health.

According to Acas, those who are working at home in the UK are covered by the law on working hours. Nonetheless, some employees might have ended up working more hours than usual for many reasons, whether it’s due to the fact that most people are generally at home now rather than having other social commitments because of the government’s stay at home guidance, or if their company is asking for longer work commitments to combat working from home or a decrease in their profits.

Some NHS recommendations for working at home include keeping a routine, creating a dedicated home office or working space, giving yourself regular breaks, and establishing boundaries with household and family members.

What does working from home cost?

Some requirements for working at home can create extra costs for remote working. Not everyone already had a home office, and many will have had to buy new office equipment they have not needed at home before such as headsets, screens and keyboards, upgrade computers, buy furniture like desks and home office chairs, or even switch broadband providers.

How to manage the extra costs of remote working

Many costs associated with creating a home office might be covered by your company, so it is worth checking with your employer whether they will cover costs or provide you with existing equipment before you purchase new equipment. This won’t be an option for everyone though, for example, many are self-employed or have expenses that might not be covered by employers such as internet upgrade costs.

One option available is to claim some tax relief for working at home for working at home to recover some of the costs accrued during the covid-19 pandemic. This tax relief may be claimed for working at home for a day or more during covid-19 – you might even be able to entitled to claim the full year’s worth even if you have not worked at home for the whole year, based on the government system. However, many people may need further support or help finding solutions for their financial circumstances. If you have existing debts and need help fixing your payments to creditors, you can fill out the quick and easy MoneyFixers application below and we will get in touch to discuss how we can help you.