Remote Employees - The Hidden Costs of Remote Work Setups

Remote work setups are getting all the more common in today’s world. It’s not much of a surprise because it already was starting to become the norm for a lot of companies that can switch their employees to do their jobs from home and start calling them as remote employees but now with the pandemic, it’s been getting a lot of attention more than ever. 

Remote work is claimed to be a new way of convenient work for employees. Unfortunately, it’s not the case for others. Sure, there are a lot of benefits that remote work brings to the table and many companies and their respective employees prefer to keep it that way.

However, there are unexpected costs of keeping a remote work setup and this especially rings true to the part of the employee’s side. So what really is the true cost of remote work for many remote employees?

The Shifting Costs of Remote Work

Recent studies indicate that companies don’t pay much for the personal expenses of remote work employees. Internet, electricity, food, and many other costs that are associated with remote work. Equipment is also a large expense that most remote workers have to shoulder for themselves as studies also have shown that 1 out of 3 remote employees have to pay for their equipment to work remotely.

Companies on the other hand can save themselves from huge amounts of 
expenses for each remote employee as office costs, food, electricity, and many more other associated expenses are removed. This is because of remote work shifting the dynamics of expenses to remote workers. With these given facts, it’s clear that there is a distinct difference in the expenses and benefits between both the company and the employees that have been shifted into a remote work setup.

Developing Equal Expenses For Remote Employees

Creating techniques and proper guidelines can really help in establishing a better relationship between businesses and remote work employees in balancing out remote work expenses.

We’ve compiled a list below as to what possible areas businesses and remote employees can work on:

The Equipment & Furnishings

Different industries require different equipment and oftentimes, employees need specific equipment to do their job right. Businesses can do a great deal in assisting their remote work employees in providing this much-needed equipment. It gives a lot of room for remote employees since they don’t have to spend their salary money on equipment that their employers should be providing.

The same can be said for furnishing. Office chairs and desks that are spares from the office can be provided to remote employees to ensure a proper office is being set up for them. The same can be said for other items such as extra lamps, table flower pots, curtains, and many more.

Other remote employees prefer coworking spaces and membership costs for coworking spaces can be expensive. Companies can provide this as an allowance for each employee to use up until they reach the amount that they have been allotted. Companies can also negotiate deals with a partner coworking company in accommodating their employees. After all, the costs of membership for most coworking spaces are negligible as compared to renting a dedicated office space. 

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 Check out one of our blogs that talk about how you can make your remote work office setup comfortable, interesting, and lively. 

Remote Employees & The Tools Needed

Digital remote tools are a common sight for most remote work setups. Cloud-based services such as Google Drive, MEGA, and Dropbox can be expensive for remote employees to put their money on and it would do well for businesses to provide the necessary tools for these employees.

Most of these tools require premium subscriptions to get the most out of all the services that they offer. It can be a huge downside for many remote employees if they themselves have to pay for such services as these can cost quite a lot of money. Depending on how much collaboration, data , and communication is needed; these online tools can start to pile up and employees will start finding themselves paying for a lot of different services online. 

Remote working tools can bring in a lot of benefits for productivity in remote work setups. It should be best for businesses to at the very least, provide these tools for remote employees so that collaboration can easily be done by teams. This increases the general capacity and efficiency of how work can be done in a remote work setup so companies investing in digital remote tools can be the same as companies investing in extra office space for more capacity to do work.

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 There are many collaboration platforms available for businesses to use   for their remote work setups. The question is which to choose?

Work Supplies For Remote Employees

In some businesses, there is a specific amount of physical material that needs to be used for remote employees to do the work that they need. It can range from the simplest of general paper materials to expensive and valuable materials that cater for a specific niche. These materials that are provided by offices are now shifting into employees dishing out their cash to buy these materials for their use.


This is one of the places that employers can step in to provide for remote employees. Supplying remote workers with the needed physical material can reduce the costs of remote work setups for remote workers and help them from shouldering the costs of their work-related expenses.

There are plenty of ways to supply remote employees whether it be delivering the physical materials to their homes directly, allowing them to visit a smaller physical office to grab the materials to bring home, or even just sending them the amount that they need to buy the materials on their own. 


Each of these solutions have their own strong points and weak points but the general outcome is that they all help remote employees from having to spend their own cash to do the work that they need.

The Problem of Electricity & Utility Costs

It is already a given that electricity is a necessity when operating a remote work setup. It’s even necessary already even without a remote work setup operating much more when there is one. The same can be said for high-speed internet. Companies can provide a stipend for remote staff utilities and help them out in providing their basic needs in remote work operations.

Working from home can consume a lot of bills from air conditioning, lights, power devices, and many more. During the pandemic, there was a recent research study that came out studying the increase of electricity costs in New York City alone. The research indicated that there is about a 7% increase of weekday electricity by apartments after the stay-at-home order was issued, while weekend use of electricity jumped about 4%. 

Another research also indicated that $6 billion more were spent on residential power consumption from April to July in 2020. At the same time, commercial and industrial power consumption dropped significantly in proportion to the increase of residential power demands.

Given that companies that transferred to a remote work setup don’t have to spend cash on electricity bills and office rent. It can be a great idea to have these extra funds be diverted to remote employees as these can help them in shouldering the costs of the extra bills that they have to consume for the work that they do. 


Remote work setups can be a loss for remote employees even with the benefits that they bring when it’s not done properly and not set up incorrectly. Having a fair share of expenses from both employer and employee in setting up the right remote work environment can bring in all kinds of opportunities from both sides of the coin.

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