Telecommuting: corporate savings at the expense of employees
Research conducted by professor and director of the School of Urban Planning at McGill University, Richard Shearmur, allowed him to estimate that a company that would like to fully compensate its employees in teleworking should increase their salary from $ 5,000 to $ 16,000 a year so that after tax they can get their money back.
Need one more room
In his calculations, the professor took into account various costs including electricity, internet, equipment and the purchase of coffee, and emphasized one particular need of teleworkers: their workspace. “If people live in a small apartment, and they work from home long term, they are really going to need an extra room,” he says.
Mr. Shearmur discovered, in the course of his research, that several respondents worked on a corner of the kitchen table or even on their beds, as they live in a shared apartment. “The people who say they have no problem are those who already have a big house and a home office,” he adds, which also reinforces the idea of social inequities accentuated by the crisis linked to the COVID-19.
His calculations thus shed light on the additional costs incurred by an individual depending on his geographical location, by comparing defined neighborhoods in Montreal.
Refund or not?
Employers who would reimburse their employees for teleworking would save much less than they think and would therefore be less inclined to want to leave them teleworking, according to Mr. Shearmur, especially since their physical presence at the office involves significant advantages.
In fact, estimates published in the American magazine Forbes before the pandemic suggested that a single teleworker allowed his employer to save about $ 10,000 per year, depending on his geographical location. It’s not for nothing that a company like Shopify announced this spring that it was following in the footsteps of permanent, long-term telecommuting: the savings are indeed considerable.