Telecommuting has experienced a boom in the last two years. Is it profitable for the worker?
Due to the pandemic, many people have been forced to telework. And it seems that many have liked it, because they are reluctant to return to the office. Interestingly, among the most reluctant are the employees of large companies such as Google or Apple. It seems that those huge futuristic installations of their headquarters are not so attractive from the inside…
Go to work entails significant costs. Mainly, displacementbut also foodand increased spending on clothingfor example.
At first, telework at home it’s cheaper: you save on the car or public transport, and you spend less on clothes, perfumes, creams, etc. Unless you spend all day involved in video calls… But there are extra costs for electricity and heating.
Our colleague Enrique Fernández from Business Insider has been putting these numbers into telecommuting expenses.
The most common is the computer. A laptop consumes an average of 0.05 kWh, so using today’s average price, €0.23 per KWh, and assuming we work 8 hours a day, the laptop consumes only 9 cents of electricity per day. With weekly shifts of 5 days, and if April has 21 business days, the laptop consumes about 10 euros per month. Something else if it is a desktop computer with a monitor.
In most of Spain the climate is variable, with cold in winter and hot in summer. In other words, you have to turn on the heating or air conditioning / fan while workingalmost all the year.
According to Climate Expert, the air conditioning consume 1 kWh per day. If in summer we use it 4 hours a day during working hours, the cost is about 20 euros per month.
As to the heatingAccording to the OCU, a person who teleworks spends an average of 53 euros per month in gas heating, and 114 euros with electricity.
In summary the minimum cost in telecommuting It is between 63 and 124 euros per month in winterand ones 30 euros per month in summer. Although there are more associated expenses that have not been accounted for, for example lighting expenses, office suppliesperhaps in contracting a faster Internet rate, or with more data…
On the other hand, going to the branch, according to BBVA data, represents an average of about 55 euros per month for transportation, and 51 euros per month for food.
If we compare, telecommuting is cheaper in summer. In winter it depends on where you eat. If you eat at home (it counts as a family expense) then it is more expensive to telework, because of the heating. If you eat out, win one or the other depending on the type of heating you have.
From the figures it seems that there are other more important factors that must be assessed to decide on teleworking, instead of expenses, which are more even than it seems.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism