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Expert says employers should contribute office supplies to staff working from home

Last Updated May 26, 2020 at 9:52 pm PDT

FILE: This April 3, 2020 photo shows realtor Michelle Bushée posing at her desk while working from her home in Pittsburgh, Pa. Bushee has always been an avid planner. Her weeks used to be very busy but now the entire month of April is empty. (Nick Bushée via AP)

UVic business professor says employees are entitled to certain things from employers like laptops or office supplies

Although she says furniture like desks and chairs are more complicated

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — A University of Victoria business professor says employees are entitled to certain things from employers, like laptops or office supplies.

As the tax deadline looms and people write off business expenses, the work from home movement doesn’t seem to be losing any steam during this pandemic.

Professor Stacey Fitzsimmons says it’s OK to feel that your employers should foot the bill for things like laptops and office supplies.

“I would expect that a lot of companies might subsidize the cost of it because you would need to upgrade – I don’t know about you, but I’m in this case where you’ve had to upgrade our internet because we’ve got multiple people using it for parts of the day.”

Although, she adds “furniture is the one that’s going to be a little bit difficult.”

While some employers have approved the purchase of office chairs according to Fitzsimmons, an expense like that for some companies can feel excessive or too permanent.

But she adds companies are more financially prudent if there are no offices.

“For most companies right now, it’s much more expensive because now you’re talking about maintaining the current office space. In addition to that, also supplying everything that your employees need from to work from home… it’s not doubling the cost but it is much higher cost than it would be if you just had either one or the other. And that’s the challenge right now.”

-With files from Tarnjit Parmar