The good, the bad and the ugly of working from home

Date Published: 14/10/2020 14:53

Many of us are working from home, but are there some issues we should have thought of? Our director of operations Keeley Woodcock takes a look.

Here at Future Life Wealth Management we have created a ‘hybrid’ way of working to ensure we keep everyone safe during the pandemic.

We have some staff working from home and some in the office, and we swap round. When in the office we ensure that there is social distancing and we are ‘Covid safe’, and for those working from home we keep in regular contact.

Who knows what is ahead for the office; for the way people commuted in for 9am and dashed out again at 5pm (although we’ve never been ones at Future Life for strict timetables, preferring instead to get the job done). All those long commutes and the costs. No wonder many people actually want to stay working from home.

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development the proportion of people working regularly from home has risen to 37 per cent, which is more than double that before the pandemic.

And according to an Office for National Statistics report last week, nearly a fifth (19 per cent) of businesses plan to use increased home-working as a permanent business model. Of these businesses, 55 per cent said it was because of reduced overheads, but even more (60 per cent) said it was because of improved staff well-being. And a third of businesses who intend to keep on with some form of home-working said it increased productivity.

So, there are lots of pluses to home-working, but what about the not so good? Well, apart from the obvious that those of us home-working might have come across like problems finding a decent workspace (the kitchen table is only alright for a few days) or the lack of fast broadband, there are other hidden issues, that we might not have thought of.

Among them are:

It might affect your insurance costs. It is a good idea to mention the change to your home insurer, but do speak to your employer first, as their insurance should cover the laptop, printer etc. Also it might be worth looking at your car insurance if you had a high mileage allowance due to a long commute you no longer do.

You can claim tax-free expenses. The amount you can claim was increased from £4 a week to £6 a week by Rishi Sunak on April 6. If your employer pays you more, you will have to prove the payments are paid ‘wholly and exclusively’ in the performance of your employment duties or you may be eligible for PAYE on those payments.

Could you miss out on a pay rise or a promotion? It is possible that those working from home may miss out on opportunities simply because of the old saying ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Something we won’t do here at Future Life as we keep in contact all the time, but it is good to keep in touch as much as you can.

Could you get hit by Capital Gains Tax when you sell your home? When you sell a principal private residence you are not eligible for CGT. But if you have set aside a room exclusively for business use, then you may lose that exemption. For example, if your home office takes up ten per cent of the total area of your house and when the house is sold it generates a gain of £100,000, then ten per cent of the gain could be liable for capital gains tax. If the room has dual use (eg it is also used for relaxing and watching TV) then it should not affect the CGT exemption. This is a bit of a grey area at the moment, with so many people working from home for the first time, but certainly something to be aware of.

No individual investment advice is given, nor intended to be given in this article and liability will be accepted in respect of any action you may take as a result of reading this article. If you are unsure you are urged to take independent investment advice. 

Please do get in touch if you think your current working situation may affect your financial future. We’re here to help.

Contact Us

Future Life Wealth
Management Limited,
Future House,
54 Ravenshorn Way,
Renishaw, Sheffield S21 3WY

+44 (0) 1246 435 996

Opening Hours
Monday - Friday 8.30am - 5.00pm

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