Salaries and wages have not kept up with inflation. For those of us lucky enough to still have jobs, there is big gap between what we earn and what we bring home. All earnings are taxed, but the other things really eat into whatever the Taxman leaves behind.
Commuting is expensive for anyone who cannot walk or cycle to work. Bus or train fares keep going up, taxi cabs are worse. Cars cost a packet between maintenance, fuel, road tax, insurance and breakdown cover. Motorbikes are cheaper, but we don’t all live on the equator and seasons can be cruel, roads can be dangerous. Working from home commute costs = 0
Presentation can be expensive, and looking good costs more when you get older. It costs to keep my hair the right colour and the right shape. My daughter can grab a sale item off the peg and looks great, but I have to be careful. What fits on Monday, doesn’t on Wednesday. The skirt that looked fine in the dressing room mirror hangs like a sack after a day at the office. The brown trousers I bought really do attract as much dog hair as the black ones they replaced. I have wasted mega amounts of money buying shoes that seemed comfy, but crippled me a few weeks later. Nails, teeth, cosmetics, they all cost. Accessories are expensive too. Handbags, headbands, scarves, gloves and other decoration need updating with the seasons. All cost money, and lots of it.
Lunch is another big one. While a slice of toast will do fine at home, we can’t source one easily at work. We have all been there, I won’t say any more about how eating out can make you broke, but pulling out a flask when the rest of the team order their coffee in sometimes can require a level of courage that we do not all possess.
Health issues can make it hard for people to work in a bricks and mortar building. Aging bodies play up, when it’s not the skeleton or the eyes, it’s the bladder or the other bits. Sitting or standing abilities may vary from day to day, and these problems can lead to feelings of not being good enough, or pressure to work harder to try to keep up. We are never going to be able to compete with a person in their 20’s unless we level the playing field. This is simply easier when we work from home, ideally online.
Flexibility is a factor, but do not confuse this with any ideas of making money for nothing. Money for Nothing is a great song, but that’s it. It is not a workable concept in the real world. You can make money by doing less, and working smarter, but even today, 0+0=0. That said, working from home often means that you work at times that match your body-clock, and free up time for when you need it the most. It often means you can make time for tea with friends, or a trip out with family, because you can swap out your working times.
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