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Work from home: Workers called 'greedy,' 'petty' for expecting companies to pay for expenses

Sibile Marcellus
·Reporter
·2 mins read

As the pandemic drags on into its eighth month, many companies have given up on back-to-the-office timelines and realize remote work, when possible, will continue indefinitely (or at least until summer of 2021).

And companies want their workers to be comfortable – and more importantly, productive – so to that end some have given remote work stipends to employees to pay for expenses such as new office furniture and supplies for their home offices. Big tech firms including Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Shopify are among them.

But that generosity isn’t that common: only 1 in 10 employers have offered workers subsidies to manage the costs of working from home, according to a July survey by global insurance giant Willis Towers Watson. (283 organizations were surveyed employing 4.4 million people).

A remote-work survey conducted in July by software developer Nulab found that 57% of respondents said their employer wouldn’t allow them to bring work-related equipment home with them, except for laptops and computers. And 31.8% said they personally purchased necessary additional equipment. The survey also found that since March 2020, employees reported spending an average of $194 on supplies specifically related to remote work.

In a recent poll, LinkedIn asked users if companies should pay for work-from-home expenses. The poll touched a nerve among workers, generating thousands of comments from employees. (The poll ran from Oct. 7-14).

WFH expenses
WFH expenses

The survey found, unsurprisingly, that 60% of workers said companies should cover work from home expenses, while 30% said workers should pay.

Employees called out companies on LinkedIn for failing to cover the phone bill, high speed internet, office supplies, furniture, and utility expenses they’re incurring while working from home, pointing out that those costs were shouldered by their employers prior to the pandemic. Disagreements among workers about who should pay for work from home expenses ensued.

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The cost of property taxes has not eluded workers.

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Other workers pushed back against such demands, viewing the demand for toilet paper reimbursement as excessive.

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Some workers showed support for companies who have chosen not to cover their employees expenses.

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