Working from home saves employees €304 per year 

Working from home saves employees €304 per year 

'True cost savings are likely to be greater than this, as in cities, despite shorter commutes, cars burn fuel sitting in traffic, while average commuting lengths are significantly higher in rural areas,' the report found. Picture: Larry Cummins

Employees working from home will save at least €304 each year, new research due to be published on Wednesday reveals.

The research, being published by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, finds that even when the extra cost of light and heating is taken into account, remote workers can still save hundreds of euro each year.

The paper has also found that carbon emissions could be drastically reduced by a move to remote working as it has the potential to save 164,407 tonnes of CO2 a year.

Increases in household heating and electricity costs associated with home working, estimated to be €79 and €30 respectively, are offset by potential annual savings from reduced commuting, which are estimated to be €413 per remote worker, resulting in a net saving of €304 per worker. This figure is based on the average commute distance in Ireland by car of 15km each way; however, the actual savings could be significantly higher depending on a person's commute distance, or whether indeed they even use a car.

"True cost savings are likely to be greater than this, as in cities, despite shorter commutes, cars burn fuel sitting in traffic, while average commuting lengths are significantly higher in rural areas, with the average commuting distance being more than 25km each way in Laois, for example," the report finds.

The report also states that in Dublin City, for example, public transport is used by 21.5% of commuters, and based on a Leap card standard fare, people working from home would save €460 in transport costs.

For people using public transport for longer journeys, potential cost savings because of remote working would be greater.

Firms can make savings

The research shows that firms can also make significant cost savings if they decide to downscale expensive city centre offices.

The Tánaiste has been pushing to make remote and blended working a permanent part of working life after the pandemic and has been clear that as long as the work gets done and public services aren’t affected, it should be facilitated.

New laws put forward by Mr Varadkar, which would provide workers with the right to request remote working, are currently undergoing pre-legislative scrutiny. However, the Right to Request Remote Working Bill has been criticised by unions for being stacked in favour of employers as it contains 13 provisions under which a remote working request can be rejected.

Mr Varadkar has said that he will have a "listening ear" when it comes to any proposed changes to his bill.

"The pandemic has shown us what is possible and we need to take the benefits and make them permanent," Mr Varadkar said.

“We are putting in place the legal framework, with the new right to request remote working law and right to disconnect and the infrastructure, with the National Broadband Plan and the network of hubs we are investing in, to make remote and flexible working a part of normal working life."

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