Flexible Working: The Real Cost of Working from Home

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A woman working from home sitting on her sofa

For the 95% of millennials who have long favored job roles that provide a healthy work-life balance, working from home seemed to be the dream. The often overnight remote switches of the past eighteen months have felt like a strange kind of positive. After all, even pre-pandemic, 70% of millennials had considered leaving roles for more flexible scheduling and other alternatives.

Now, it’s hardly surprising that two-thirds of millennials and gen-Zers are crying out for flexible arrangements to stay. The question is, will they end up paying for it?

There are claims that flexible work can save everyone as much as $4000 a year! Although simplified, many fail to recognize that working from home full time in itself can get expensive.

A woman bored while working in the office

Yes, you might not have to fork out for your daily commute or your lunch each day. But it’s not unusual for newly home-based workers to notice a significant increase in their outgoings and bills overall.

Many millennials are already struggling to reach high rental amounts in many cases. That extra monthly expense can tip the scales in altogether the wrong direction.

Moving forward, millennials are going to want to consider the following areas for potential savings where remote work is concerned.

# 1 – Choose Your Office Space Wisely

A lot has been said about home offices this past year. Interior design style guides are popping up all over the internet and leaving many of us with extreme doses of office envy. From comfy desk chairs to stunning filing cabinets, some home offices seem to be straight from a dream.

However, what we’ve heard way less about is the fact that a carefully chosen office could also offers some pretty impressive money-saving benefits.

A simple work set up, perfect for those who are working from home

In an obvious sense, this is because a well-laid home office is guaranteed to improve efficiency and directly boost earnings as a result. More specifically, in terms of saving money, however, the positioning of your office itself can also make a huge difference.

South-facing rooms that enjoy the most natural light and heat can especially save you from having to constantly turn to artificial lights or expensive heating all day long. You might think these savings would be negligible, but over a year or more, someone working in a south-based office will certainly feel the monetary benefits of doing so.

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# 2 – Find the Best Broadband Deal For Your Needs

A painted picture of a computer staying connected to the internet

Increasingly remote processes are becoming more and more dependent on a decent connection. This enables flawless video meetings, unshakable uploads by its deadline, and the ability to communicate as a team at any time during the working day.

Unfortunately, limited home broadband packages can also end up costing above the odds when you have to pay for usage outside of your contract.

Typically sitting well outside of the ‘standard rate,’ these little usage extras could soon add up to almost a year’s worth of broadband in just a few months of overuse. Hence, millennials facing ongoing flexible working arrangements also need to think about broadband deals.

Even if a little pricier up front, they offer everything they could need to manage work and impress clients at all times. Luckily, plenty of broadband providers have spent the past eighteen months perfecting focuses that specifically offer these benefits for home working setups.

As such, any millennial looking to save money here simply needs to do their research, make themselves aware of when their existing broadband deal draws to a close, and make the switch as soon as they can without incurring extra charges.

# 3 – Reassess How You Handle Heating

More time at home typically means more time with the heat on. Especially as the colder weather begins to set in.

Millennials working from home are also increasingly considering alternative heating arrangements that will help them to save.

Speaking of an efficient approach, the installation of solar panels is also increasing in popularity. Thus, cutting heating bills in place of free energy at last.

Smart thermostats and more are also becoming an appealing option for this same reason, allowing remote millennials to better tailor affordable heating solutions that never leave them, or their finances, out in the cold.

# 4 – Conserve Energy Using the 40-80 Rule

Woman working from home typing on her Macbook

Millennials who are on the receiving end of far steeper electricity bills are also feeling the benefits of making efforts to conserve energy wherever they can. Specifically, with regards to unplugging chargeable items such as laptops.

The ‘40-80 rule’ has become especially imperative in this sense, and works on the principle that laptops should be unplugged once they reach 80% of charge, and put back on charge when they have just 40% of battery left.

This can result in just short periods of charging each day. This can significantly lower energy bills over a few months.

During winter, when artificial light is absolutely necessary, replacing bulbs with LED options can help to reduce costs, overall.

# 5 – Always Use Free Calling Services

A woman working from home is preparing for a facetime meeting

Talking to people in the office used to cost nothing more than a little personal energy. However, remote processes can require calls to connect many people. This can send bills soaring if specific efforts aren’t made to avoid that reality.

Luckily, free calling services that many millennials were already using on a casual basis before remote work became the norm.

Those with access to their home wifi connections are able to make long-distance and lengthy calls to clients and colleagues without once having to worry about the expense.

Some managers may even be willing to invest in business packages. These can guarantee top-quality connections and capabilities, all while offsetting the otherwise steep and personal costs of traditional calls.

# 6 – Develop Positive Eating Habits

A nutritious salad is a perfect lunch for those who are working from home

It’s easy to assume that cutting out that daily meal is going to result in notable savings. This is certainly cited as one of the best potential savings that remote switches have to offer. But, as countless millennials are quickly discovering, it isn’t all that it’s cut out to be.

As food prices increase in the face of supply shortages, the added expense of lunch can soon start to escalate. Even from home, it can be tempting to call in delivery.

Saving money when working in this way also relies on the ability to develop positive and affordable eating habits. The batch cooking that’s already much-loved by the millennial generation offers the ideal solution in this sense, especially when enabled by slow cookers that save time, as well as money.

Slow-cooking bulk meals like chili or stew before work can ensure a nutritious, satisfying meal!

Even better, all of these ingredients are surprisingly cheap to make! Especially if the expensive cuts of meat are replaced with vegan alternatives. Replacements like beans, or just straight-up veggies, for at least a few days a week can make all the difference.

A Final Word About Working From Home

As you can see, stating that remote work will automatically save millennials money is not exactly true. Especially considering that these additional costs are far harder to factor into typically fluctuating budgets right now.

That said, no one is denying that savings as high as $4000 are possible when working from home. By taking these steps towards cutting the costs of remote working could soon prove to be pretty beneficial after all.

Woman working from home with her daughter wanting her attention

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