When you have to go, you have to go Paul V. Montesino, PhD, MBA. Author

When you have to go, you have to go

Paul V. Montesino, PhD, MBA. Author

For some time now, the months piling up to become years, the pandemic has forced employers and employees to adopt a new work practice: teleworking. It has allowed the employers to stay in business, and the employees to fulfill their obligations and remain employed; an unquestioned benefit. This arrangement, however, has had a secondary effect that one does not hear much about.

When hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of employees have to work from home, the facilities direct expenses that the employers incur in one place are multiplied by the number of employees using that opportunity and the individual employees, not the employers, incur them. Think electricity, computer, internet, telecommunications, water, sewer, A/C, heating, and you will get the big picture. It is a wide cost effect multiplied by the size of the work force.

I realize that the individual employees may save some commuting costs, but overall, the benefit accrues to the employers and not to the employees.

Forcing the employers to pay for so much when they are not only trying to stay in business, but also to be good citizens and keep their employees in the payroll would be unfair in my opinion, but the weight should not be on the other side of that economic formula either.

The State Treasurer could add a tax credit category line to the Form 1 tax returns for use by workers who find themselves in that new paradigm. We only need to give every employer involved a telecommuting number, perhaps an extension of their employer number would be sufficient, that their employees could use to claim a credit and the State Treasury to audit. The energy experts in our State government can figure out how to measure that credit in dollars and cents and avoid the necessity to get lost in the details of every case. We must avoid the devilish details at all costs for both, the employer and the employees. And, of course, we must ignore the fact that those credits benefit our employers and should not be considered virtual corporate income for them or the accounting cycle will never end.

As I said at the beginning, when you have to go, you have to go, but it shouldn’t have to be too cumbersome. Thanks.

Paul V. Montesino, PhD,  MBA. Author

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