What’s the cost of working from home?

Working from home, like everything else, has both pros and cons. Here are some of the most significant cons.

What’s the cost of working from home?

Being able to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic is a privilege some of us are lucky to have. Many have lost their jobs or been asked to go on unpaid leave simply because their work isn’t the kind that can be carried out remotely. In addition to staying safe and continuing with gainful employment, working from home does have a host of other benefits – from zero commutes to higher productivity. 

There’s also a lot of talk about all the money one can save by working from home. This could be true when it comes to the cost of commuting, eating out, etc. But there are a few costs of working from home that is often overlooked. 

1. Electricity and utilities 

Have you noticed a steep rise in your electricity bill ever since you started working from home? A whole day of using the lights, fan, air conditioner, Wi-Fi, etc. is the main reason. Office supplies, stationery, and printer consumables are some other expenses to consider. Moreover, the free or subsidised food, coffee, and snacks that you may have got at your workplace now constitute a cost that you will have to bear yourself when working from home. 

Related: 5 Apps that will make work from home easier

2. Insurance and medical costs

In case you’re working from home and are a contract worker, health and life insurance that would have been otherwise covered through your employment contract will probably not be active any longer. In case you’re a desk worker, your medical costs may increase because your overall health and level of physical activity would have dropped due to self-isolating and staying at home all the time.

3. Social interaction

Working from home in isolation for extended periods of time can get to you. Phone calls and video meetings can’t replace in-person teamwork and brainstorming. You may take double the time to figure things out, and the constant virtual communication may get chaotic. Not having your co-workers around for coffee breaks – or to talk and joke with – can also make one feel low and lonely.

Related: How to work from home without feeling too overwhelmed 

4. Comfort and safety

Your home is not likely to be designed to be a workspace, and it’s not as if you had time to make it work-friendly before the lockdown. Lack of ergonomically designed chairs and work desks can lead to chronic neck pain and backache. Working from home further promotes a sedentary lifestyle that isn’t good for your overall health. Also, if you have young children or pets at home, having a lot of cables and wires plugged in for work may be unsafe for them. 

5. Uncertainty and anxiety

When you’re working with your team in the office, there is a constant flow of information and informal communication that keeps you in the loop regarding what’s happening in the organisation, to the project you’re working on, your manager’s concerns, office politics, etc. However, when you’re working from home, you are completely cut off from anything that’s not conveyed through the official communication channel. This sort of uncertainty – especially if your company hasn’t been clear on their financial state during the pandemic – can lead to stress and anxiety. 

Related: Dos and don’ts of work from home

As you can tell, the cost of working from home extends beyond the financial. You should try to be mindful of certain things in order to reduce this. For instance, you could download and use home workout apps to incorporate much-needed physical exercise in your daily routine and perk up your energy levels. Here are 5 Things to remember when working from home. 


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