Teleworking Entrepreneur Ville Paija had to rent an office costing 15,000 euros when his wife stayed telecommuting: “Workspace is never free”

Year then in the spring Ville Paijan the home suddenly became cramped, as did many other Finns.

Paija, an entrepreneur in the communications and film industry, had worked in a home office for years. It was a room decorated for work, used only for work, from which the company also paid fair rent to the couple in Paija.

He was then hit by a corona pandemic and his wife also stayed telecommuting. Due to the nature of his work, he needed a good meeting room and took over Paija’s office. At the same time, the family’s kindergarten and school-age children stayed home, so there was no peace at work in other areas of the apartment.

To the place remained a workspace in his parents ’bedroom, where he threw his communication projects forward while sitting on the bed. After all, it didn’t become anything in the end.

“When it became clear that this wasn’t going to end right away, I had to rent business premises from the market. The total cost of the office is about 15,000 euros a year, ”says Paija.

At the same time, he began to realize what telework, which became more common with the epidemic, actually cost an employee.

There are no free workspaces. There is always a cost to the farm.

“Our in that case, that cost became concretely visible. I started to think that it makes no sense for my wife’s employer to save on workspace costs, which I then pay, ”Paija says.

Namely, there are no free workspaces. There is always a cost to a farm, even if it is difficult to measure it directly in money.

As I write this story at my dining table, half of the table is out of actual use. That, too, is a cost.

Corona epidemic put many workplace practices into a new faith. Even in those workplaces where teleworking was rare in the past and was treated sparingly, it was surprisingly noticed that the work went smoothly as well.

At the same time, the finance departments began to calculate how much the company could save if at least part of the crew were constantly at a distance at a time and no one needed jobs anymore.

Perhaps it would be possible with smaller premises and lower rental costs.

Ville Paija is an entrepreneur in the communications and film industry.

When before the pandemic, it was discussed how much they were willing receive To do telecommuting, we are now discussing how many employees agree to do telework.

This is an escalation. Not all employers want to increase telecommuting, but some clearly want to.

HS has been carrying information about companies that have decided to switch to teleworking altogether and the office has been virtually closed down.

Many like to work remotely. For some employees, it is a shock. Family situations and home conditions vary.

If an employer cuts down on workspaces with a tough hand and announces that telecommuting is the new norm, the nature of the conversation will change. Should the employee then receive compensation for arranging the workspace at home?

Read more: Many companies will soon force their employees, at least in part, into the office – business leaders fear there is a mess ahead

General Counsel Markus Äimälä The Confederation of Finnish Industries states, first, that the rules of the telework do not belong to the Confederation but are agreed on a company-by-company basis. However, telecommuting now speaks at all tables.

“It’s clear that these issues are much discussed in the workplace when thinking about post-corona epidemic work practices.”

According to Äimälä, workplaces must decide, for example, whether the employer acquires tools for homes. How to deal with internet costs? And will the employee keep his or her own workplace in the workplace?

Äimälä believes most companies want employees to be in the office at least part of the time.

“You also have to agree on how to decide on telecommuting and telecommuting in general. Can the employee just report working remotely, or does the employer order? ”

State supports teleworking with tax deductions that can be obtained from the workspace and some tools. However, they cover only a small part of the actual cost of the workspace.

Read more: You can make these deductions for the tax year of the exemption

Today, teleworking practices vary enormously. Some employers have lent employees home tools such as office chairs, monitors and keyboards for the corona year.

Some have even bought an electric desk for those who work at home.

Last week, the consulting company EK said that it would move to a work model that flexibly combines office and domestic work. The company also pays employees in the home office wifi, office chair, monitor, keyboard and mouse.

Akavan labor market leader Katarina Murron according to which the employer must not force anyone to work remotely, i.e. employees must have the right to work space at the workplace.

“The employer has a duty to arrange adequate and safe workspaces and to acquire work equipment.”

The employer is thus responsible for the safety of working conditions, although in telework it is more difficult in practice. Does it mean, for example, getting a decent office chair and desk?

According to Murro, work ergonomics should also be taken care of in teleworking. He does not take a position on exactly how this is done.

“The rules of the game and how to do telework should be agreed in the workplace in good time when considering returning to work.”

“This is not in line with the rules of the market economy,” Paija says.

Entrepreneur According to Ville Paija, the employer should pay the employee a fair rent for the work space, assuming that the work is done at home.

“My small business paid a fair rent for the office located at home before the corona. But the listed company does not pay. This is not in line with the rules of the market economy. ”

In Paija’s opinion, it is clear that during the exceptional interest year, everyone was ready to be flexible.

“But when telework seems to be a new, even desirable circumstance, despite the end of the epidemic, we have to agree on who pays the cost of telework to households.”

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