As businesses and organizations are figuring out their COVID funding needs, I hope they’re also considering the new financial needs of employees who are now working from home.
I’ve seen a lot of friends struggling with bandwidth, home computers, office space, etc. and very few of the organizations are offering, or even talking about, employee home office/technical allowances. This includes many school districts and government agencies.
When I first started working from home years ago, I put so much of what I made right back into my home office needs, including a better computer, printer/scanner, desk, supportive office chair, etc. And as we moved Joe quite suddenly from his hospital campus office to home, I have realized how much I miss many of those things as he’s totally taken them over! Lol
But those things were also tax deductible for me as a sole proprietor/contractor. With the new tax laws, these things are not deductible for employees, so our increased need for Joe could not even be addressed in a similar way.
These work resources should be provided by employers, but even if they were bought by employees, they are just totally considered personal items even though they are necessary for work – especially when you think about Internet, computers, webcams, etc. Absolute musts now. And so many of them – laptops, webcams, etc. are depreciating assets, and the more required constant use of personal items for work speeds up that loss of value for personal items.
While I understand many businesses and organizations are struggling, the answer can’t be that we just make employees bear that extra burden. Whether it’s making sure COVID funds also cover these things, getting creative with what you do have (how much of the at-office stuff can go to home to your employees,) or straining the budget even more to try and allow for even a little of those things, a little relief to some employees can mean the world right now.
I’d also love to hear the creative ways organizations and businesses are ensuring their employees have the best conditions possible to keep the organization going! Like:
- Having Internet allowances in paychecks
- Stopping payments for things like the office Internet, and applying those funds to employee homes
- Allowing office chairs, desks, etc. to be taken to homes
- Total move to flex schedules for more project-based stuff (I.e. I just need this done by this date, I don’t care when you work)
- Asking each employee what is needed at their home for each supply order
- Purchasing webcams, mics, lighting equipment, etc for the business that employees can use at home