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9 min read

What are the Costs of Working From Home?

More and more of us will be working from home again, due to government advice. Working at home comes with a range of advantages and disadvantages. These undoubtedly vary from person to person, due to everyone having different household circumstances, personal working styles and occupation types. However, a major factor that affects everyone working at home is the costs associated with it – let us look at these.

An illustration of a woman working from home.

The financial impacts of coronavirus

It’s been a challenging two years for everyone, and many people have seen an impact not only on their personal lives but also on their finances. Over the past two years, we’ve seen a rise in unemployment, people being furloughed and working hours being cut because of Covid-19. We are only just starting to see the long-term consequences coronavirus has had on the economy. Some sectors of the economy, like the service industries, have been hit the hardest and as a result many small businesses have closed down.

It is these types of situations that can have a massive impact on workers' finances. However, it is not only those who have lost their job or lost hours that have had a change in their financial situation, people who are working at home, which is many of us, may have also been significantly impacted financially.

People may find themselves needing to borrow money at this time. If you need help with managing your existing debts or finding suitable debt solutions, you can contact Debt Support Centre or fill out the form clicking the button below to receive a confidential call from an experienced advisor.

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The rise of working from home

Plan B came into effect on Monday 13th December 2021. As a result, a significant amount of people have had to trade their morning meetings at the office for one at their dining room table on Zoom, once again. It might feel like a step backwards but remote working is something a lot of companies have had to implement because of the new Omicron variant. We’ve all had to make a lot of changes and adaptations since March 2020, so what does it mean going back to WFH this time round?

Some of the benefits of working from home

One profound benefit of working at home during the coronavirus pandemic is that it reduces the risk of becoming infected with Covid-19 and the new Omicron variant, as it limits physical interaction. Many of us are double vaccinated but that doesn’t stop you completely from the risks of catching Covid 19. Additionally, it is ideal for people who need to shield or are wary of working in an office during this time.

Other possible advantages of working from home include:

  • No need to commute – waking up in the ‘at home office’ has saved people a considerable amount of money and time;
  • Limits the company overheads – working from home is likely to be saving your employer money, as they no longer need to pay for electricity and other office costs;
  • Easier to focus on the tasks in hand – being at home is arguably quieter than working in the office, this is likely to increase productivity (dependent on each household circumstance);
  • No need for office wear/uniform – a lot of people can now work wearing whatever they like, which in some cases makes workers more comfortable and reduces the extra costs of buying work attire
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However, for some there may be financial disadvantages of working from home.

The impacts of working from home

Working from home does also come with some challenges;

  • Lack of community feel – some people will miss the social interactions that come with working in an office;
  • Lack of space – some people do not have enough space to work efficiently and privately;
  • Distractions – with a vast majority of people being asked to work remotely, home offices may need to be shared with other members of the household. This can be distracting for many. Moreover, the separation between work and home is considerably more blurred with children needing to be home-schooled and looked after;

The impact of working at home varies between individuals. Some people have seen it as beneficial to their work life balance and have enjoyed having the extra time to spend with their loved ones. In contrast, other people have found that working at home has made it hard for them to differentiate between work and leisure time, which has sometimes affected their mental health.

Working from home advice.

In accordance with Acas, people working at home within the UK are still protected by the law on working hours. This means when you’re working from home you should be doing the same amount of work you would if you were spending every day at the office. But how can we stay motivated when WFH?

Working from home advice.

It is advised by the NHS that people working at home should try to stick to an everyday routine. It is recommended that all work should be performed in the same space each day, regular breaks should be taken, and other household members should be asked not to disturb you unless it is necessary.

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What does working from home cost?

Working remotely can come with extra costs. Setting up or restoring a home office can be financially draining as many people have to upgrade their laptops and stock-up on office equipment such as headsets and keyboards. On top of this, some people need to buy new furniture such as desks and office chairs, or even upgrade internet provider. All these things do not come free.

Can you claim for working at home?

Many of the extra costs that come with remote working may be covered by your employer, so it’s worth talking to them prior to purchasing any additional equipment for your home office, as they may already have the equipment for you to use. However, this is not always an option as some employers do not cover some expenses such as broadband, and some people such as the self-employed are their own employer.

You may be able to claim for working at home. People working at home have been claiming through the UK government’s tax relief for working at home to cover some of the extra costs that have built up due to the Covid-19 pandemic. If you have worked from home for one day or more during the pandemic you can claim using this tax relief. You may be able to claim up to two year’s worth of tax relief.

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