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What are the Costs of Working From Home?

Working at home as a result of the 2020/2021 coronavirus pandemic 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.

The financial impacts of coronavirus

Many people are finding themselves in difficult financial times due to the rise in unemployment, people being furloughed and working hours being cut as a result of Covid-19. It is not possible to truly know the long-term consequences coronavirus has had on the economy yet. Some sectors of the economy, like the service industries, have had to furlough their full workforce as a result of not being able to safely work under coronavirus guidelines.

It is these types of situations that can have a massive impact on workers' finances. However, it is not only the furloughed workers that have had a change in financial situation, people who are working at home during Covid-19 may have also been significantly impacted financially.

Many 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 for you, you can contact Debt Support Centre or fill out the form directly below to receive a confidential call from an experienced advisor.

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The rise of working from home

As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic a significant amount of people have had to trade their morning meetings at the office for one at their dining room table on Zoom. Remote working at home is something a lot of companies have had to implement because of the Covid-19 government guidelines, in which the risk assessment for the return to the office highlights that it is currently not worth the risk.

Are you unsure if you should be working from home or not? If so, Unison have issued some advice on workers’ rights and working at home. They also explain what qualifies people to be paid by an employer whilst working at home.

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, as it limits physical interaction. Additionally, it is ideal for people who need to be shielding 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 furloughed or 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 homeschooled 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.

In accordance with Acas, people working at home within the UK are still protected by the law on working hours. However, as previously mentioned, a lot of people are working considerably more hours than they usually would if they worked in the office. The reason for this is unknown – is it because people have fewer social commitments due to the ‘Stay at Home’ government guidelines? Or is it that companies are asking employees to work more to avoid loss of profits?

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 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 furniture such as desks and office chairs, or even upgrade internet provider. All of these things do not come free.

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