Remote work is no longer a new normal. With the widespread of the world’s deadliest disease— COVID-19, the whole world quickly changed its work routine to stay safe. While exploring my Linkedin feed, I read that the internet is the most powerful resource we have today and it’s so damn true. In such trying times, it was the internet that kept everything smooth and normal. People continued to work remotely, and now some tech companies like Twitter announced remote work forever.
People have different opinions about working remotely or from an office. In the past, working from home was unfeasible for many companies, but today’s modern videoconferencing and webinar tools has made it easier to make this transition. Which one is more productive now, I’ll discuss that later.
If I talk about myself, I’ve been working as a full-time remote employee in a private web hosting firm. Trust me, going remote not only increased productivity but also saved me a huge amount of money. By the way, $12426.91 is equivalent to 2 million PKR which is a hefty amount here.
So, let me share how I saved thousands of bucks as a remote worker.
1. Travel Costs
Do you know an average American spends anywhere between $2000 to $5000 on transportation each year? However, it depends upon the country you live in. The transportation costs can go higher or lower but still, the fact is, it’s extra money you have to put in daily. The transportation expenses include gasoline, motor oil, toll, maintenance costs, and parking tickets. I’ve been working from home since December 2016, I’ve been saving $1200/year with no traveling.
That would be $4800 for four years.
Now let’s put money aside, you are going to the office daily, right? It means you are dealing with heavy traffic. When traffic is heavy, such as an early morning or late afternoon rush hour, the lanes and spaces surrounding your vehicle are filled. Sometimes, you have to take back roads and the worst of all, you can get stuck in a traffic jam. If you are working from home, you don’t have to deal with such reoccurring and never-ending traffic issues.
Anyway, whether you go to the office in your own car or get an Uber, you can save a lot of time keeping your productivity level high. More importantly, you can save a lot of travel costs if you are working from the comfort of your home.
2. Rent Payments
A guy like me who lives in a village far far away has to move to another city for the job. We all know that the fortune companies have their office locations in the big cities. Before 2016, I was living in Islamabad— the capital of Pakistan. My company’s head office was there and I was appointed in that office as an executive systems administrator. It was really hard to travel from my native village to the office daily. Therefore, I had no choice but to live in a small apartment paying a monthly rent. Rent is likely your highest monthly expense, and it’s also a recurring cost that you cannot easily reduce. You can face long-term financial problems because too much of your paycheck goes to rent.
On average, I was paying $745.56/year for my 2 bedroom apartment. The total amount for four years is equivalent to $2982.24 USD. I am now saving all of that living in my own home without paying a dime.
3. Expensive Dining
Most of the time, the tech companies do not offer free daily lunches. It means you have to dine out in restaurants or hotels. On the other hand, if you are thinking about having your own cook, it gets even more expensive. You’ll have to pay a monthly salary in addition to the daily groceries. This is a discretionary cost that can amount to hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.
On top of that, you have to participate in the welcome or farewell dinners. Such parties are celebrated once or twice a month. In short, food can be one of your biggest monthly expenses. It can be even more costly if you are focused on eating healthy and organic options instead of the less healthy, cheaper options at the grocery store.
Since I have been doing a full-time remote job, I have saved $2243.52 in the last 4 years.
4. Professional Attire
Approximately, all offices ask employees to wear professional dresses. For instance, if I talk about banks, they have a proper dress code. From junior to senior-level positions, all employees have to wear a professional attire on daily basis.
While there’s nothing wrong with a dress code, but you’ll have to update the office wardrobes every year. Additionally, you’ll need to frequently get the dresses dry cleaned.
Whereas in remote work, you might only need a three-piece suit with a tie during important meetings. A single dress is enough for years unless you get fat.
Luckily, with remote work you can save yearly clothing purchases and dry-cleaning expenses. I have saved around $480 on detergents through remote work.
5. Miscellaneous Expenses
I didn’t include parking because I was lucky enough to get free parking every time. However, parking costs are extortionate in many countries and cities in the world. For instance, in New York City, parking could be nearly $5400 per year on average. The good news is, work from home saves the frustration and hassle of dealing with parking. So, I am not adding my parking expenses here.
The other miscellaneous expenses include utility bills, tax deductions, cleaning services and internet charges adding up to $1901.15 for 4 years.
Let’s add up all the costs that I saved while working from home.
$4800 + $2982.24 + $2243.52 + $480 + $1901.15 = $12426.91 USD
All the above calculations have been made with average costings in mind.
Working from home opens up a new range of possibilities for the way people can work and structure themselves. There are lot of benefits of working from home like flexibility, agility, productivity, safety, health and above all, saving money. The whole world now have realized the importance of remote work after the global pandemic. Though I have discussed those benefits that employees can enjoy. More importantly, there are lots of ways that remote working can offer businesses cost savings. Many established firms have already saved millions of dollars due to telecommuting.
It is understood that remote jobs are not for everyone, you can create an online gig to work one or two days a week at home on the world’s popular freelancing platforms. You can earn more money and it can really help your bottom line.