Expense management in the age of remote work

In 2019, home office arrangements applied to around one out of five employees worldwide but COVID-19 has left many companies no choice: in an effort to gain control over a global pandemic, offices around the world shut, forcing employees to work from home.¹ Not just as a crisis response, work performed from home is an increasing trend, yet companies struggle with the transition.

 

The transition to remote work took most businesses by surprise and left them no time to adjust to these new ways of working. In a world where virtual Zoom meetings and Cloud sharing are the home office norm, employers need to strongly digitalise management processes. 

One such area due for an upgrade is the administration of expense reports. Even though restrictions in current times bring about new types of expenses, the time to go digital and use an intelligent online expense management solution is for now. By far, this is the best tool for smart business leaders who are looking to optimise the efficiency of employees and departments.

 

Remote work: new types of expenses

 

The transition into new work set-ups paired with the ongoing pandemic changes the types of expenses.

Employers are advised to revisit their workplace policies to improve remote work situations for their employees. Companies are spending more on providing home office equipment and resources and reimburse their staff for additional travel related to tests and other COVID-19 connected expenses. Expenses associated with virus prevention measures like face masks and hand sanitisers will likely increase, contrary to hospitality and entertainment expense claims. 

These new expense trends put an agile finance function at the heart of every company. Now more than ever, it is crucial for companies to rely on simplified expense tracking. In order to anticipate and react to emerging trends, a digital approach is the only solution.

 

Digital employee expense management

 

Gone are the times when expense reports are printed and dropped off with the accounting department. Virtual work arrangements call for digital solutions.

Apart from paperless expense reports, a mobile expense management system holds an edge over the traditional process chain. It could allow teams to plan budgets and make informed forecasts despite their remote work situation, not to mention alleviate the administrative burden on finance functions.

 

Expense management during remote work

 

  • Tax incentives in the UK and Germany

 

Jobs working remotely are the current and possibly future norm. Therefore, many countries react and pass regulations to fairly navigate these new circumstances for both employees and employers.

Workers employed in the UK are entitled to a tax relief if their remote work set-ups increase their expenses. Similar tax rebates covering work-from-home costs apply in Germany during the pandemic. Every employee in remote working circumstances is entitled to a €5 tax exemption per working day with a ceiling of €600 per year.²   

 

  • Spending allowance by tech companies in the US

 

In order to remain flexible towards ever-changing government measures as a response to the coronavirus, alert office operating companies have identified solutions that retain employee satisfaction. This is to ensure steady productivity output in the face of often difficult remote work arrangements.

Google, for instance, is proving its pioneer status by making a step towards their workforce. The tech company grants every employee working from home during the pandemic a $1.000 allowance to compensate for imperative tools and equipment .³ Twitter and the e-commerce company Shopify reportedly followed suit, financially facilitating the transition to remote work for their staff.

 

  • Development opportunities in Singapore

 

To successfully manage employee retention and talent attraction through remote work scenarios, businesses must rethink their employee benefit offers. This includes not only skill development programmes but also packages that target employee well-being.

Countries like Singapore have understood the investment into career development courses for their remote workforce and are leading the charge on enabling employees’ access to a yearly contribution, supporting their development goals.⁴

This is a unique time and opportunity for every company to review their benefit contribution because an expense today has many chances to turn into an important investment tomorrow: that of attracting and retaining talent in a post COVID world.

 

A new era: Jenji’s digitalized expense management solution

 

While the motion of a structural shift in where work takes place is still ongoing, a digital transformation movement impacting every layer of business has long arrived.

With Jenji, the digital solution to an effective expense management tool sits right at your fingertips. We help you handle your expense management process in autopilot mode, which not only your controllers and team leads will thank you for but especially every employee dealing with the (previous!) frenzy of expense submission. And what better way to attract a new generation of employees than to demonstrate your commitment to digital transformation.

 

For more details on Jenji, don’t hesitate to contact the Jenji team at sales@jenji.io. We will be glad to assist you in setting up your project.

 

References:

1. https://voxeu.org/article/working-home-estimating-worldwide-potential
2. https://www.workingmums.co.uk/should-employers-pay-remote-workers-less-than-office-workers/ 
3. https://www.forbes.com/sites/beasleydavid/2020/05/27/google-gives-employees-1000-work-from-home-allowance/?sh=34fcad3b4c04 
4. https://www.forbes.com/sites/rebeccahenderson/2020/10/27/remote-working-will-transform-employer-benefit-offerings/?sh=7bbe3de265fd
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