Fighting for This One Perk at Work Could Save You Thousands Each Year
- After years of allowing workers to do their jobs remotely, more companies are calling employees back to the office.
- If your remote stint has come to an end, it pays to fight to keep it in place.
It's worth going after for more reasons than one.
Before the pandemic began, remote work was one of those things that only a small percentage of non-freelance employees got to benefit from. But once the COVID-19 outbreak erupted in early 2020, employers were quick to shut down offices and have employees do their jobs from home instead.
For many, that setup held steady well into 2022 as various outbreaks and variants wreaked havoc on companies' office return plans. But at this point, the U.S. seems to be taking a more laid-back approach to the pandemic on a whole. And as such, more companies are insisting that workers start doing their jobs in person again.
Now it may be the case that you're not such a fan of remote work and would rather show up to an office and collaborate with your colleagues. But if you enjoy remote work, it pays to fight to keep that arrangement in place -- not just for the flexibility, but for the savings involved.
How much could remote work save you?
According to auto app Jerry, the average American spends over $4,500 a year to get to work. And during periods when gas prices are through the roof, which is the case today, that total cost might be even higher.
That's reason enough for you to fight for the option to continue working remotely -- if not on a full-time basis, then at least part-time. Not only might you save money by spending less on gas, parking, or train or bus fare, but the less you use your vehicle, the less you might spend to maintain it. So there could be some peripheral savings to enjoy on top of not having to spend a small fortune on commuting costs.
How to make the argument for remote work
Some employers feel that workers can't do their jobs as productively from home as they can from an office. If you're serious about maintaining your remote work arrangement, assess your performance over the period when you were doing your job from home. If you can point to an uptick in productivity (or comparable productivity), that alone could fuel your argument.
If your employer still isn't convinced, ask for a trial run. Request that you be allowed to work remotely for another three months, during which time your employer can compare your performance to that of your in-office peers.
You may also want to point out how working remotely could make you more available to your employer. Say your commute takes 45 minutes each way, during which time you're driving a car. If you tell your employer that you'd be happy to give some of that time back in the form of being available for a longer day, your employer might get on board.
Don't give up without a fight
It's easy to see why some companies want workers back in the office. And if you're in a management role, you may have no choice but to return. But if your job is one that lends itself easily to remote work, it pays to fight for the option to keep doing it from home. Working remotely even some of the time could spare you a whopping credit card tab when you account for all of the fill-ups, parking lot fees, or public transit passes you won't have to pay for.
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