Ask an Accountant: Working remotely

Francesca Giroux, CPA
For the Lakeside Leader

In the ever changing technological climate of today’s workforce, working remotely has become an option for many employers when looking to expand their business or offer more flexible work arrangements to their employees. Living in a northern community can often make it difficult to find the needed individual to fill a particular position within an organization, thus making working remotely an attractive option. By allowing employees to work from their homes in other communities, your business would be expanding the pool of candidates available for a given job by hiring people who aren’t able to move.
By having your system on a centralized server, or “cloud” and allowing individuals to connect to that system via an internet connection, employees then have the ability to work anywhere with a reliable internet connection. This not only frees up office space but can allow the employee to choose their own work hours potentially resulting in a better balance between work and home life. While it may not be possible for all work duties to be performed remotely, having the option to spend some of your work time not in the office is often desirable. This may also help to balance the various advantages and disadvantages of working remotely. For example, individuals often find that they are more productive when working at a home office, yet they lack the camaraderie and collaborative nature of an office environment. By allowing your employees the flexibility of time spent both working remotely and in the office you may be able to strike a balance between productivity and the social aspects of the office.
As your business grows the ability for employees to work from home will also allow you to retain talent within the organization. As people’s situations change and they have to move for personal reasons (i.e. spouse’s job relocation, spouse going back to school, etc.) they can still continue to be a part of the organization from their new location. Working from home also allows you as an employee to focus in on productivity, because “going to the office” doesn’t always equal actual working hours (i.e. time spent on Facebook, personal e-mail, etc.) At home it’s harder to fool yourself into the mentality that just because you are present at the office that it means you are actually working.
Please e-mail your questions to bonnie@nashgirouxllp.ca.
Information provided is of a general nature. As each individual or company’s situation is unique, you may wish to consult with your CPA for information specific to your own needs.

 

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