by Jessica Lyskawa, BSW Candidate, Kovir LLC Intern
Work from home stipends also known as remote work stipends are an optional benefit that employers can provide to their employees who work from home. This is usually a fixed amount that can be paid annually, monthly, or even paid via reimbursement. There are also companies that do this as a one-time covered benefit.
What is covered:
Employers can exercise as much or as little control over what and how items are covered. Research shows that the following items are commonly covered by companies who offer some version of a work from home stipend or reimbursement policy:
- Internet/Phone Service
- Office Furniture (Desks, Chairs, etc.)
- Ergonomic Products
- Electric bills (due to increased use of energy when working from home)
- Role-specific tools
- Access to co-working spaces so employees can work in an office-like environment if they wish.
- Can include providing for general perks that on-site staff have access to (items related to food, health/wellness, and learning & development)
More and more of the workforce is transitioning to working from home, and more small and large companies are finding ways to use these stipends to help their employees feel productive and happy in their workspace.
Research shows that the potential benefits of offering remote stipends include:
- Competitive edge in talent acquisition
- Better employee engagement and retention
- Increased productivity
When considering remote work stipends companies must first determine what they want to cover to support employees, and then determine how frequently this benefit will be provided. Looking at examples below it is clear that there are multiple ways to implement this:
- Twitter, Facebook and Google, provide a flat $1000 for remote work expenses
- Basecamp offers a stipend of $100 a month to put towards the rental of coworking space
- Indeed, reimburses its employees up to $500 for standing desks, chairs or lighting in their home
- Chegg pays monthly internet bill and gives $500 for home office furnishings.
- Software company pays $200 annual stipend for technology costs, and a one-time payment of $500 to set up home office