When a business moves employees into homeworkers, should the business pass on a proportion of its overhead cost savings to make up for the increased facilities use at home?
This is one in Minutecoach’s LinkedIn Q&A Best Answers series, widened out and rewritten for those not on LinkedIn. If you’d like to read the original, you can use the link at the end of the article.
There is no moral imperative for a business to do this, just business common sense and ‘perks’.
Some companies who offer home-working toward the high end (sales reps, managers, etc.) will provide a telephone line, broadband connection, printer, portable dock or home computer, VOIP/virtual switchboard etc. because these tools are central to the business operation and the business needs to control and possibly audit usage, security, exposure, call tracking, etc.
Other businesses at the low end (call checkers, some home telesales, etc.) expect their out-workers to have infrastructure in place, so adverts typically read “…must have broadband.”
Were I being selected for home working, I would be upset if the company did not make allowances or arrangement for the increased phone bill and would expect them not to mess with my current domestic line but put a new one in. It would be great if they paid to upgrade my broadband connection, or install one if I didn’t have it, and I would expect them to provide any physical tools (printer, hubs, wiring, wireless router, etc.) I needed to do my job.
I’d be surprised, delighted (practically astonished) if they offered to pay £10 per week towards my extra costs of being at home. Currently most people are only too grateful for the opportunity to be at home part of the week, and the business knows that.
By way of context, if you were the director of your own company in the UK, you could claim for all this extra use without even putting in any evidence, as long as it is not for fixed costs like council tax, rent, insurance, etc. Yes, you too could claim £3 per week, no questions asked…