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Work-from-home stipend resource hub

All you need to know about the work-from-home stipend, best practices, testimonials, expenses, equitable benefits, and Lifestyle Spending Accounts.

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Work-from-home stipend resource hub

As hybrid and remote work becomes increasingly prevalent, more and more employers are looking for ways to support their remote workforce. Trends show that 25% of professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022, and this will continue to increase into 2023. One solution that has gained traction is the work-from-home stipend. 

A work-from-home stipend is a sum of money provided by an employer to an employee to help cover the costs of work-from-home expenses. In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits of a work-from-home stipend, common stipend expenses, and how Lifestyle Spending Accounts can cater to more needs of employees.

Benefits of a work-from-home stipend

A standard work-from-home stipend can provide work-from-home benefits for remote workers. One of the most significant benefits is increased productivity. By providing workers with a stipend, employers can help ensure that their employees have a comfortable and ergonomic workspace that can increase job satisfaction.

Secondly, we know that employees are feeling the effects of inflation. One way to minimize the impact of inflation on employees is to provide a work-from-home stipend. By being proactive, you can send a clear message that you support them, value their needs, and want to help tangibly with remedies for inflation.

Another benefit of a work-from-home stipend is improved work-life balance. By eliminating commuting time and costs, remote workers can devote more time to their personal lives.

A work-from-home stipend can also enhance wellness and comfort for remote workers. With the ability to invest in items that can improve the workspace, such as ergonomic chairs or standing desks, workers can do their tasks in a comfortable and healthy environment.

Work-from-home stipend eligible expenses

A common list of eligible work-from-home stipend expenses include:

  • Desks/office chairs
  • Headphones
  • Desk equipment
  • Computer/laptop accessories
  • Cables/cords
  • High speed internet

This Forma member had this to say about their work-from-home stipend:

“My wife and I are both working from home now, so we had to upgrade our internet service. Having that expense be something that I don’t have to take on is huge.”

Finally, a work-from-home stipend can increase retention and attraction of talent by offering a competitive and flexible benefit. This is especially important as more and more companies embrace remote work, and competition for top talent increases.

Cons of a work-from home stipend

There are also some potential downsides to work from home stipends. One concern is that they may be viewed as a replacement for other benefits or compensation, such as salary increases or bonuses. If a company is only offering a stipend and not addressing other areas of employee compensation, it could lead to dissatisfaction and resentment among employees.

Another potential issue is that a work from home stipend may not be sufficient to cover all of the costs associated with working from home. For example, if an employee lives in an area with limited internet access or high utility costs, the stipend may not be accessible and equitable for all employees.

This is where Lifestyle Spending Accounts can support.

Expanding work-from-home stipends with Lifestyle Spending Accounts

To make a work-from-home stipend even more effective, employers can offer a Lifestyle Spending Account. A Lifestyle Spending Account is a flexible benefit that provides employees with funds to invest in their well-being and improve their quality of life. 

A Lifestyle Spending Account can be used to invest in a range of items or services that can improve wellness and comfort. Examples include gym memberships, yoga classes, and meal delivery services. By providing a Lifestyle Spending Account, employers can give their remote workers even more flexibility and control over their work-life balance.

As employers move away from point-solutions, they are looking to address all employees needs, equitably. Partnering with Forma, Zoom expanded the pre-existing wellness program to include an array of Lifestyle Spending Accounts focused on the company’s five wellness pillars: physical, mental, financial, social, and work. The new LSAs covered a much broader spectrum of options, from daily food deliveries, gym memberships, and office equipment, to childcare support accessible via the Forma platform.

To implement a work from home stipend and a Lifestyle Spending Account, employers should establish clear guidelines for both benefits. They should determine the amount of the stipend and which expenses are eligible for reimbursement under the Lifestyle Spending Account. Forma has created benchmarks and guidelines that are industry best practices. Employers should also communicate the benefits of both benefits to remote workers to ensure that they understand and take advantage of them.

A work from home stipend is an essential benefit for remote workers, and it can be made even more effective with the addition of a Lifestyle Spending Account. By offering this benefit, employers can show their commitment to their remote workforce and attract and retain top talent. As remote work continues to be the norm, it's essential for companies to adapt and provide the necessary resources for their remote employees to be productive, happy, and healthy.

To learn more about LSAs and work-from-home stipends, <span class="text-style-link text-color-blue" fs-mirrorclick-element="trigger" role="button">schedule a consultation</span> with one of our experts.

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