HIDDEN COSTS OF HOME OFFICES

HIDDEN COSTS OF HOME OFFICES

EMPLOYERS are supportive of home offices, but they are falling short when it comes to paying for them, a new Brisbane-focused survey has found.

Brisbane companies were found to pass costs onto the eight out of ten employees who maintain a home office according to research from global workplace provider Regus.

Home offices were found to cost the workers surveyed an average of $243 per month taking into account things such as equipment, energy bills, cleaning and maintenance.

For more than 50 per cent, the cost of setting up a fully functioning home office was in excess of 20 per cent of their annual salary.

Flexible working is increasing in Australia due to productivity gains for employers and employees, and better work-life balance for employees, but it seems attitudes to this lifestyle are lagging in real terms.

Of 76 per cent of local respondents who have a home office, 44 per cent believe most companies encourage working from home to transfer the cost of workspace.

Only 43 per cent of firms implicated in the survey contributed to kitting out employees' home offices and the vast majority weren't paying for insurance.

Yusuf Oner, area director for Regus Queensland, says some of the statistics revealed by the 1,194-strong survey are staggering.

"Many companies could be incurring all sorts of expenses if they are not regulating the environment from which their staff members work," says Oner.

"As seen in the research, a staggering 80 per cent of companies that encourage their employees to work from home are not aware that they must ensure health and safety standards are implemented.

"Furthermore, 86 per cent reported that they do not take out the appropriate insurance cover on the home workspace."

Oner says home offices don't always adequately satisfy the needs of employees and employers, and there should be open discussion about utilising third places such as libraries, co-working communities and professional business centres.

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