Julianne F. Andrews, MBA, CFP®, AIF®October 20, 2020
As the pandemic stretches into months instead of the weeks initially expected, many workers continue to work from home. Some jobs lend themselves more easily to this than others. At Atlanta Financial, we continue to work remotely and meet with clients virtually. We are all looking forward to the day when we can get back into the office and see our colleagues and clients again. Nothing can replace face-to-face interactions whether it’s in the break room with fellow team members or in meetings with clients. But, as with many things, there are some silver linings and as it turns out, remote work does have some advantages. A recent study in fact showed that more than half of employees would prefer to continue working remotely, even after the pandemic is over.1
So, what are the advantages to be gained by a remote work schedule other than comfortability? Are there any actual financial advantages? The answer is a resounding yes – and these are just five of the ways in which remote work may actually give you more financial freedom.
Benefit #1: Less Work Expenses
You probably don’t realize how much money you tend to spend when working away from home. Just cutting your commute can save you thousands of dollars each year on gas, or more depending on how far you travel.2
You’ll also spend less money eating out or buying coffee, which quickly adds up when you do it most days a week. For example, say you buy a $4.00 cup of coffee just three days a week. In a year, that could add up to over $600.
You can save, too, on some unforeseen expenses: clothing and dry cleaning, for example.
Benefit #2: Tax Deductions
Many traditional employees will not be able to take advantage of home office tax deductions. However, those that fit the qualifications can. These individuals need to prove:
- Regular and exclusive use of a portion of your home for business
- Your home must be the principal location where you conduct business
The home office deduction caters best to any self-employed individuals, small business owners and independent contractors. If you don’t fit in these categories, you may qualify for a deduction from your state income tax instead.
Benefit #3: Flexible Hours
Working from home, even if you’re working as an employee for another company, often gives you more flexibility to “be your own boss.” 57 percent of employers are offering employees who work at home more flexibility in work hours.3
If you’re working an hourly wage, this means you may have more of a say about when you work. Your employer may also be open to you reducing your hours.
Benefit #4: Time for Other Business Ventures
Working remotely, as mentioned above, can provide you with more flexibility depending on the nature of your job. This flexibility may afford you the ability to explore other business ventures. Be careful, though, because many times outside business activities are prohibited by an employer or at least must be disclosed.
Benefit #5: Possibly Cheaper Insurance
Some car insurance companies will reduce your premiums if your commute has changed. If you typically commute regularly, call your insurance company, let them know your situation has changed, and they may offer you a discount on your current insurance plan.
Many workers favor remote work for the flexibility it affords. If you are still working remotely, consider each of these benefits that can make your current work situation, more rewarding both psychologically and financially.