The COVID-19 pandemic has forced so many businesses to adopt remote working overnight. While there are a lot of benefits to remote working and it’s much safer for everybody right now, there are some challenges for your employees.
Creating a positive working environment in the home can be difficult and expensive. But many companies aim to solve this problem by giving their employees a stipend to create their own home office.
Shopify and Twitter, for example, offered to give each remote employee $1,000 to set up their home office. This money is to be spent on things like ergonomic office desks and chairs, or new laptops. Some companies are also offering a monthly payment to help cover things like internet or phone bills.
For big companies like Twitter, this expense is manageable and it seems like a no-brainer if it makes life easier for their employees. However, it’s not so easy for small businesses and paying your employees a similar stipend will put a lot of financial strain on you, so is it really worth it?
What Are The Benefits Of Paying Home Office Costs For Your Remote Workers?
Although it is a big expense to cover, it may be the best thing for your business in the long run. If you pay this money to your employees you will notice a big increase in productivity. It’s difficult to work productively if you don’t have a comfortable, well equipped space to do it. But if you give your employees the money to buy a proper office desk and chair so they can stay comfortable and focus, they will get a lot more done.
Giving your employees some financial assistance also increases access to tech tools, which employees may not otherwise use. Expecting your employees to pay out of their own pocket for a brand new laptop is unreasonable, especially considering their utility costs are likely to increase while they are working from home. The same goes for upgrading their internet connection to accommodate video conferencing. This means that many employees will struggle to work effectively because they are using outdated tools. Giving them some money to update their tech tools will benefit them as well as the business.
You should also consider it an investment for the future because it’s likely that the business world will be changed permanently by the pandemic. Remote working is going to become far more common, and that’s good for businesses because it cuts your office costs. However, if you expect your employees to continue working remotely in the future, you need to help them get their homes set up for it.
What Are The Downsides?
The obvious downside of these payments is that they put a lot of financial strain on the business in an already difficult time. So, before you make any promises, crunch the numbers and make sure that you can afford it.
The other thing to be aware of is that employees may spend the money elsewhere. Although this is unlikely, you may decide to ask them to purchase items and then reimburse them afterwards to avoid this.
Overall, if your business can afford it, paying home office costs for your remote employees is a good idea.
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