Your remote working practice is like a small business.
When you work remote or from home you naturally mix your personal world with your work world. Do you have a clear understanding of the boundaries between the two? We all tend to gloss over this, allowing work to creep into our personal world, and sometimes unintentionally, we allow our personal life to creep into our work world. Need I mention those embarrassing oops-moments on Zoom calls we’ve all heard about!
When it comes to administration, however, if we don’t pay attention, we can put strain on our valuable resources of time, money and property.
What is remote working administration (admin for short)?
Remote working administration is basically the same thing as small-business administration. It’s the practice of book-keeping, inventory and resource management. We do it to AVOID LOSING MONEY – and the other things we value, such as time, energy, property and more.
Maybe you think it’s not needed for a remote working practice. Maybe the following articles might convince you otherwise:
This Forbes article starts with the following words “If you thought working at home was going to save you money, think again.” by Cheryl Winokur Munk, Jun 22, 2020
Or read: About that spare room: employers requisitioned our homes and our time by Julie P. Smith, Australian National University and Fiona Jenkins, Australian National University, June 11, 2020
Remote Working Administration – The detail
An excellent place to get help is from your accountant or financial planner if you have someone like this who can help. Other sources of information are; online articles and resources (which wofome continues to investigate), friends who already do this well, or tips from other Wofomers.
If you work remote or from home for an organisation, ask if they cover any expenses or offer any resources (computer equipment etc.). You’d be amazed at what might be on offer – especially if it improves their profile too. A good example: if you do Zoom video calls, do they offer a backdrop screen (to hide an otherwise messy background)? If it includes their company logo, that’s free advertising for them! Maybe they have a newer digital-background solution.
You might think, “I don’t have the time or energy to do this… It’s all too hard…”
Well, it’s usually a once-off effort. A small price to pay for ongoing rewards.
What should I look out for?
Here is a list of things you should think about.
- Travel expenses if you work remote in a location other than at home
- Phone data plans
- Internet services
- Basic office supplies
- Clothing (if you need to wear specific clothing during the ‘work’ part of working from home)
- Tech Gear
- Wear and tear (depreciation)
- Home Insurance
- Work Cover Insurance
- Legal Cover (Liability, Indemnity etc)
- Fitness expenses (where you need to combat a sedentary work-from-home practice)
- Food (if you had free food at your usual place of employment)
- Time – Personal ‘my time’ (how much is this worth to you?)
Can you think of any others?
Your admin activities should be a pillar of your broader remote working practice. Check our Practice blog topic for new information.
If I am a HYBRID WORKER do I have to manage two sets of book-keeping?
Are you aware of the hybrid option? Many Wofomers* work remote and their place of employment, alternating between the two throughout the week. It’s either ad-hoc or based on a fixed schedule. (Example: Mondays and Tuesdays is remote and the rest of the week is at their employer-provided workplace). This kind of work is called Hybrid.
If you are a hybrid worker, it is definitely recommended that you get outside help to sort through what constitutes at-work administration versus remote working administration. Nevertheless, we suggest that this ‘collective administration’ still be done from the position of a remote worker. That way, with your own professional help, you can explore if your at-work expenses or benefits can be included in your remote working administration.
(* A Wofomer is a work-from-home-er)
To sum up, it literally pays to lock-in a remote working administration process. It pays because it saves you money, which is another way of making money. Small initial effort – big ongoing reward!