SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – An increasing number of employers are giving their staff expenses for working at home, according to a survey of 450 companies by employer’s advice group AWVN.
More than half of the survey’s respondents said they now made home working payments, ranging from €26 to €43 a month, compared with just 20% six months ago.
Family spending institute Nibud calculated earlier that working from home costs around €2 a day. Nevertheless, while employers are positive about working at home, two-thirds still say that the tax implications need to be properly worked out, and the AWVN is calling on the government to take action quickly.
The government has already indicated that expenses for working at home will be treated in the same way as travel expenses, and not subject to income tax, the Financieele Dagblad said.
As well as paying workers expenses to work from home, 70% of employers in the survey already have, or plan, to make changes to their travel expense systems. Three in four also pay towards a desk or chair.
In particular, employers have noticed that people who work from home are more productive, are more involved with the job and can better combine their job with their private lives, AWVN spokeswoman Anne Megens told broadcaster NOS.
‘They also spend less time in traffic jams and employers are spending less on travel expenses,’ Megens said. An added advantage is that people are willing to spend longer times traveling to work if they don’t have to do it so often. This means sectors with a shortage of staff can look further afield for new recruits.
Employers are not, however, keen on having the right to work at home anchored in law, as unions and some political parties want. ‘Working at home is something between you and your employer, because it has to fit the sort of work that you do,’ Megens said.
D66 and GroenLinks are already working on legislation which would make working from home a right.