Over the last few years, the Covid-19 pandemic and advances in collaboration technology have shifted thousands of Australian employees towards remote work. While some companies have started returning to the office, many are under pressure from employees to remain fully remote or hybrid. While this comes with many benefits for the business, like a reduction of running expenses and office furniture costs, there are also concerns about employee productivity when out of the office.
One way businesses can address this problem is to provide a fund for their employees’ home office equipment. A business loan is an ideal way to get upfront funding for the costs of setting up comfortable, professional home offices without putting undue financial strain on the business. By providing furniture, electronics, and office equipment, businesses can help ensure that their employees are working in an environment that promotes productivity even when away from the office.
Benefits of offering remote work
There are numerous benefits to offering remote work, from increased job satisfaction and productivity to a decrease in running costs.
With staff working from home, communication records improve with the increased use of emails and messaging, employee comfort increases, and the costs of running a business are decreased. Cleaning expenses go down, a smaller office is required, and utility bills go down — all resulting in a decrease in overhead costs for the business.
But to stay productive, a business has to invest in the tools and equipment remote employees need when out of the office. Ergonomic chairs, proper office desks, laptops, headsets with microphones, and collaboration software are all necessities of a home office setup to ensure productivity and success.
What are home office expenses?
Home office expenses are any costs incurred in setting up and running a workspace for remote employees. This includes furniture, electronics, software, internet connection fees, stationary, and more. A comfortable employee with the right tools and a dedicated home office can be equally or more productive than one physically at your place of business.
Why offer a home office supply fund
Providing a pool of resources to cover your employee’s home office expenses has several advantages. It can help improve employee productivity, as well as morale and engagement. It also shows your employees that you’re committed to their long-term success and are willing to invest in their professional development and well-being. Finally, it can be a cost-effective way of streamlining the onboarding process for new remote workers by getting them fully equipped quickly so they can get working on income-producing activities.
How to use a business loan for home office expenses
If you decide to offer a home office supply fund, you’ll need to find the right funding solution. A business loan is an ideal option as it can provide the upfront capital needed for setting up and maintaining your employees’ workspaces with comfortable and ergonomic home office furniture that promotes productivity.
OnDeck Business loans are straightforward to apply for, with approval notified in as fast as 30 minutes and funding in as fast as 2 hours. Once approved, you can use the funds to purchase the necessary equipment and supplies for your employees.
How to provide home office equipment
There are many tax deductions available for work-from-home employees, with the Australian Taxation Office offering home office deductions on employees’ tax returns for internet expenses, having a dedicated work-related portion of your home, utility bills, stationery and office supplies, and the decline in value for depreciating work assets such as office furniture and computers.
Claiming home office expenses as a tax deduction is nice, but there is still a massive barrier for many employees who cannot pay the actual costs of a proper office setup. The productivity of these employees will suffer under suboptimal working conditions. When the employer pays for home expenses and puts in the effort to make remote work, they not only benefit from the increase in productivity but in increased goodwill and loyalty from the employee.
There are two methods of allocating a home office budget:
The remote worker package
This is the simplified method of providing WFH equipment. Create a one size fits all package that every remote employee receives. This usually includes a company laptop, keyboard and mouse, docking station, headset and a computer monitor.
This ensures a quick setup process and provides all the basic equipment needed to get new hires started on employment duties immediately.
The employee choice budget
The employee choice method works on an as-needed basis, with employees being able to customise and choose the bits and pieces they need to create a comfortable working environment. One employee requires a comfortable desk chair, another has a chair but needs a desk, and others may be in roles with more video meetings and request a dedicated webcam and headset.
Letting employees pick what they need costs less than providing everything to everyone and gives the flexibility to solve role-specific requirements and issues caused by personal circumstances.
Prepared by OnDeck Capital Australia Pty Ltd ABN 28 603 753 215 (“OnDeck”) for general information purposes only. Content may belong to or have originated from third parties and OnDeck takes no responsibility for the accuracy, validity, reliability or completeness of any information. Information current as at May 2023. You should not rely upon the material or information as a basis for making any business, financial or any other decisions. Loans issued in Australia are subject to the terms of a loan agreement issued by OnDeck. Loans are subject to lender approval. OnDeck® is a Registered Trademark. All rights reserved.