HR 4.0

The new way of working is gaining momentum

July 20, 2021 - 3 minutes reading time
Article by Reintjan Weeber

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, almost 50% of all employees have been working from home. This will temporarily relieve the cabinet of a number of major bottlenecks such as traffic jams, CO2 emissions and the nitrogen problem. Wouldn't it have been nice if it had been announced on 'Prinsjesdag' that there would be a tax incentive to allow employees to work from home more after corona. An incentive with which temporary reprieve might become permanent. Unfortunately, none of that.

How nothing at all means change after all

Does nothing in the cabinet plans mean that as an employer you don't have to do anything? Certainly not! Research by the Knowledge Institute for Mobility Policy (KiM) shows that the percentage of employees who want to continue working from home after the corona crisis has risen from 25% to 45%. Almost half of the employees will therefore no longer want to go to the office every day. The most important reason cited by the employees is flexibility and a reduction in travel time.

Benefits of working from home

If employees work from home more often, this offers employers many advantages. The home worker is more productive and calls in sick less often. In addition, employers save a lot of costs, mainly due to lower rental costs for office space, but also reduced expenditure on gas, electricity and catering. PWC even calculated a saving for companies in The Netherlands of almost 1.7 billion euros per day that employees continue to work from home. This is a huge cost saving. At the same time, working from home costs employees an average of 2 euros per day, according to calculations by Nibud. And they would like to be reimbursed for those costs.

Moreover, there have been far fewer travel movements to and from the office in recent years. In total, the CO2 emissions of the Centric fleet have decreased by 34 percent in 2020 (these figures are not yet known for 2021). This is a decrease that can largely be attributed to the requirement that we all work from home as much as possible.

Provide good facilities

Corona has removed all doubts about 'The New Way of Working'. The change in our way of working is unstoppable. Employees no longer want to go to the office every day, even after corona. But they would like a contribution for the extra costs they incur and support in creating healthy working conditions. If employers want to remain interesting and attractive to employees, they must offer good facilities for this. Otherwise, they will fall behind.

Fewer work spaces needed in the office

Get started with costs in mind

Do you also want to get started with 'The New Way of Working' in your organization, in other words a combination of working at the office and from home? Not sure where to start and how to pay for this?

Stop paying the fixed travel allowance, if you are still paying it now. Money that you save as an employer on the travel allowance offers you the opportunity to pay a tax-free allowance to employees who work from home. During the corona crisis, the fixed travel allowance may still be paid tax-free to employees, even if they do not come to the office. This will soon be a thing of the past. If employees come to the office on a variable and flexible basis, it is almost impossible to set a fixed compensation for travel costs. Employees can claim the travel costs much better. Preferably as user-friendly as possible.

In addition, the broader possibilities in the work-related costs scheme can also be used to pay for the extra facilities for working from home. This scheme offers a tax-free margin of 1.7% on the first € 400,000 wage. Incidentally, some facilities are not even charged to this free space, for example the reimbursement of the internet subscription for the employee who works from home three days a week. For more information about this, you should contact your organization's finance department.

Great place to work?

In short, the change to working from home is permanent. And as an employer, you have to respond to this by taking measures now to facilitate your employees as much as possible while at the same time keeping costs under control. Will you be the employer of the future that everyone would like to work for?

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