What will you be spending?
Guest Post by Sam Halmshaw
Have you adapted to working from home in recent months? Or perhaps you were one of the 8.7 million people who’d experienced homeworking before the pandemic. Regardless of your past preferences, it appears that flexible working is here to stay across many industries and professions.
With no commute to worry about, some are enjoying extra time spent with loved ones while finding they’re able to be more productive in the day. Others meanwhile are struggling with feelings of isolation – and missing the buzz of a busy office.
Whichever side you fall on, your outgoings are likely to look a little different from before. You’ll have a home office to set up and various ongoing bills to cover, although some costs may be covered by your employer. Read the key financial considerations of homeworking below.
First things first, get your tech in order. You’re likely to need a computer or a laptop paired with a second screen to make switching between tasks easier (and avoid straining your eyes). Other additions to think about include wired or wireless keyboards and a mouse.
You may find that your employer is willing to loan you some or all the above, especially if you already used it in the office. You’re also likely to need reliable broadband for activities like video calls. If this requires an upgrade to your current package, you may be able to claim it as an expense.
Home office furniture
Are you happy with your home office setup? Those with more temporary solutions are likely to need to invest in a desk and comfortable chair at least. Neither necessarily come cheap, so you may want to review your finances before finding options that fit your budget.
You might also need to think about storage upgrades if you deal with a lot of paperwork or equipment. Again, you might be able to borrow some bits from your office.
Though not as much of a concern in the summer months, it’s natural for your energy bills to go up over time as you work through cold, dark winters. Thankfully, you can claim tax relief for heating and lighting costs relating to your work area – though not for your regular usage.
Bear in mind this saving doesn’t apply if you choose to work at home voluntarily. Find more information on eligibility and how to claim on the government website.
Food and drink
With fewer canteen meal deals or Friday treats to splash out on, you may find your spending on weekday lunches actually goes down. But you’ll need to pick up items like tea, coffee and fruit that you may have previously had free access to in an office environment.
There’s no doubt that homeworking has tangible benefits if you can make it work for you. Are you aware of its financial implications?