Home Office

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Home Office

Postby Concerned » Sat Jul 24, 2010 12:44 pm

I am currnently being asked by my corporate HQ to work out of my home instead of the regional office I have had for the last 4 years. I really do not have the space for it but need to try and make it work. I currently lease a large private office but have little or no space in my home to accommodate my current business needs - "office space" room, filing cabinets, copier/fax, etc. Not to mention being thrown from an office with lots of windows to my dark and dungy basement.

Question is - what are you other home office folks being compensated for and what should I ask from my employer?

Seperate phone line?
Internet? Do you have a seperate line from your home line?
Utilities?
Rent/Mortgage?

Any tips you can provide would be helpul - I need to negotiate this soon and their current attitude is to just close the office and work out of your home - without regard to if I even have the space to do it and what they are willing to pay for expenses.

Thanks very much
Concerned
 
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Re: Home Office

Postby andysinnh » Sat Jul 24, 2010 8:40 pm

I work for HP, and have been a telecommuter for about 2.5 years after they began closing the last local HP site in South Nashua. Much of the corproate support of you as a telecommuter varies dramatically from company to company - so understanding just what your company policy is will be the first step to know what they cover.

In the case of HP, when you become a telecommuter, they provide you with equipment to work from home - laptop and docking station w/Monitor, and a printer of choice (higher-end inkjet or mid-range black laser printer) with FAX/SCAN/COPY capabiliites. They do NOT provide any ergonomic accomodations or working items such as chairs, desks, stands, phone, etc. There is reimbursement for printing supplies (paper, ink/toner) and they provide remote IT support. In terms of reimbursement for phone and internet, it depends on where you live. HP used to reimburse for phone and internet more generously and in every state, but with recent changes, they reimburse at a much lower rate (less than my costs for comcast) and only do so in a handful of states (fortunately NH is still on the list) - I believe there are some state-by-state statutes that come into play. Folks in MA, for example, get no reimbursement from HP for anything.

For items like utilities, rent/mortage, and un-reimbursed items, it then really starts going into the home office statutes of the IRS, and you calculate costs and see whether you can deduct them or not, depending on your personal situation. But the current guidelines are much stricter than from years ago, so you may not get much out of it.

So - from a true dollars-and-cents situation, you don't get a lot of assitance to work from home - at least in my case. The real benefit to me is reduced commuting costs, and flexibility. I actually find I work more productively from home than when I used to work out of the office. Maybe too productively, as I tend to work more hours now. But I'm lucky in that I have a place to work out of my house that has A/C, a good work area, and a place I can shut the door when I need to when recording a webinar or on an important call. For me personally, it works well. But I know for others - those with younger kids around the house all day or without a good place to set up an office - it can be a lot tougher....

Shoot me an email if you need more info.

andy
Andy Schneider
andysinnh
 
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