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Study: Working From Home Costs More | Voice Of America

The benefits of working from home, from avoiding traffic and enjoying a better work-life balance, have been well documented, but employees are practically paying for the privilege, says a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research ( National Office for Economic Research). “People have to dedicate a space to work from home,” explained Christopher Stanton, a professor at Harvard Business School, who is one of the authors. “And for many who lived in small apartments or similar spaces before the pandemic, that was not a realistic long-term solution, and it also meant that they will need to expand to a larger house.” The researchers analyzed data from the US Census Bureau to reach their conclusions. They found that between 2013 and 2017, households with at least one teleworker spent on average more of their income on rent or a mortgage to pay for the extra room needed. The space to work from home is sometimes limited and must be shared … “A nucleus that spent around $ 1,000 a month on rent would now spend about $ 1,070, or an increase of 7%, on average, in the distribution of their income, ”Stanton said. Researchers estimate that around 10% of people who worked in an office before the pandemic will be able to permanently transition to working from home all the time. A recent Upwork survey found that 36 million Americans will be working remotely by 2025, an 87% increase from pre-pandemic levels, and those workers will potentially bear the additional costs. Many offices have been practically empty and employers could reduce space and pass the savings on to workers. This increase in expenses is less problematic for those who earn more, but it is an additional burden for those with lower incomes. “So for those households we will see a twenty-something percent increase in housing costs for the nuclei with remote workers, compared to the households without remote workers,” added Stanton. “That’s a very high number for those households that are in the lower half of the income distribution. ”Employees, however, could get some help from their employers to cover some of those expenses.“ I think the firms are going to take on some of that account and probably spend some of their savings in office space to workers so they can cover their living expenses, ”Stanton said. Businesses could be motivated if they recognize that having a proper home office promotes higher productivity. “I think having small non-ergonomic environments eventually leads to fatigue and burnout, and less productive employees. And I also suspect that employers are going to want to make sure they have their people in reasonably good workspaces,” he concluded. Connect with the Voice of America! Subscribe to our YouTube channel and activate notifications; or, follow us on social networks: Facebook, Twitter

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