home office saving tips
Everyday Money

Coronavirus Series: Home Office Saving Tips

September 27, 2021 - Daniel Dreier

Working from home has its challenges for both employees and small businesses. Following these tips will help you save on costs and benefit from your home office experience.

Whether you enjoy working from home or are forced to do so by circumstances, following these simple saving tips can help you avoid unnecessary expenses and even save money.

1. Use free collaboration tools

Task management and collaboration are key building blocks of most businesses. Large companies generally require – and can afford – costly paid tools. But there are plenty of free options which suit the needs of most small businesses just fine. Examples include the free basic versions of Trello, Slack (team collaboration) and Asana (task management).

2. Try free remote desktop access software

Remote desktop software provides a simple but effective way for you to access your company’s computers and data remotely. Free remote desktop applications include Windows Remote Desktop, screen sharing in Max OSX and Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop, to name just some. Note: Remote access is data intensive. You can compare high-speed Internet plans using the comprehensive Swiss Internet plan comparison on moneyland.ch.

3. Claim tax deductions for home offices

If you set aside a portion of your home strictly for use as a home office, you can claim a tax deduction for the cost of that space. The primary requirement for claiming this deduction is that it is involuntary, meaning your employer does not offer you an alternative workspace. The exact requirements and deductions vary between cantons. As a general rule, you must complete at least 40 percent of your annual work hours from your home office in order to be eligible for this deduction. It is also worth noting that if you have to pay for necessary purchases yourself, you can deduct the costs from your taxable income, within certain limits. The limits vary between cantons. The limits applicable to federal income tax are explained in the guide to widely-applicable Swiss tax deductions.

4. Get the right internet plan

High-speed Internet is a basic requirement for many employees. If your home Internet connection is not suitable, you can easily find the right Internet plan using the interactive Swiss broadband Internet plan comparison on moneyland.ch. The comparison makes it easy to find the cheapest Internet plan which matches your needs based on the plans which are available at your home address.

5. Use the best phone setup

If your job involves making a lot of phone calls, using the right phone plan at home can help you avoid high telephone bills. You can use the moneyland.ch landline phone plan comparison and the moneyland.ch mobile plan comparison to find the most affordable plans for the calls you make. If you only expect to work from home temporarily, find out whether your company’s phone plan offers SIP-based calling. This allows you to place and receive calls through your standard business phone number right on your mobile phone using an SIP app.

6. Save on equipment purchases

Working from home often necessitates the purchase of professional equipment like computers, printers, phones, books, stationery and specialized tools and machinery. Taking the time to compare prices can save you a lot of money because there are huge differences in prices charged by different merchants. Online price comparison services make comparing prices on many products simple and fast.

7. Save your savings

If working from home saves you money which you are used to spending – like transportation and dining costs – consider saving the money rather than working it into your spending budget. For example, if switching to a home office cuts out 200 francs of commuting and lunch costs per month, consider adding that money to your savings plan.  Setting up a standing order to transfer your commuting budget to a savings account or pillar 3a retirement account makes this easy. The same applies to money which you would spend on dining out on workdays. You won’t miss the money which you have been used to spending on work, and it can add up to a substantial amount over time.

More on this topic:
Interactive broadband Internet plan comparison
Savings tips for small businesses
Widely-available Swiss tax deductions explained

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Editor Daniel Dreier
Daniel Dreier is editor and personal finance expert at moneyland.ch.
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