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✅ The Ultimate Guide to Implementing an Effective Work-From-Home Stipend [2024]

By March 22, 2024 April 26th, 2024

A work-from-home stipend is more than just a dollar amount set aside in the annual budget to check a box and brag about in your new-employee interviews.

Done right, this little perk ensures your employees get the support they need when they need it, regardless of where they live and work.

Despite the post-pandemic “return to work” orders given by many employers, Forbes estimates that over 20% of US employees will work remotely by 2025, almost doubling the 2023 WFH population of 12.7%.

With this much remote work just over the horizon, Oyster advises:

“The average work-from-home stipend ranges from $250 to $2,500 in total. Companies should consider offering stipends on the higher end of this range to attract top talent, especially in the technology industry, where work-from-home stipends are more common.”

Working remotely isn’t always as posh and cushy as it may sound. Some employees will thrive in isolation, but it can be a struggle to keep scattered teams supported in authentic ways so it doesn’t feel forced or cringy.

A work-from-home stipend may be the missing link to ensuring they feel just as supported in their remote working environment as they would in person.

Let’s get into it!

What Is a Work-from-Home Stipend?

A work-from-home stipend is a little extra cash an employer gives their employees to help cover the costs of working remotely. It’s like a spot bonus to make sure employees have everything they need to be comfy and productive while working from home (or wherever there’s a good wifi signal).

So, what can they spend it on?

Vegas, baby!!

No, no, reel it back in.

This money is for employees to use towards things like their cell phone bill or necessary office supplies — even upgrading to faster Wi-Fi if needed. Maybe they’ve been eyeing up a fancy ergonomic chair or a new computer monitor to set up their home office just right — their WFH stipend could cover that, too.

And don’t forget about those utility bills! Since they spend more time at home, their electricity and heating might be slightly higher. Or, if they can’t create a cozy home office, their stipend could be spent on a coworking space membership so they have all the amenities they need with no concerns about not being equipped to do their job.

Maybe some new tools or software — like project management programs or connectivity apps — could help them operate better remotely. They can easily use their work-from-home stipend for these upgrades as well.

Basically, it’s there to make sure your team members have everything they need to work comfortably and effectively from home while keeping them just as connected and engaged as the on-site teams. So, whether it’s setting up a cozy workspace, improving their skills with online courses, or just making sure they’ve got enough snacks to get them through the day without a full mental meltdown, a work-from-home stipend brings the comforts and consistency of the office life to the home office life.

 

Examples of Work-from-Home Stipends

Monthly Stipend ComptWork-from-home stipends are a little like pizza toppings; there are many variations, and the result can differ greatly depending on who’s running the kitchen. But a little extra cheese is always nice, right?

For example, Webflow offers their remote employees a flat $250 per month to cover their home office set-up and ongoing monthly expenses. All their employees – whether remote or in-office – also receive $200 each month to spend on health and wellness expenses and a $1,000 per year continuous learning stipend.

Basecamp, on the other hand, offers their remote team members a steady monthly stipend of $100 for coworking space, $100 for fitness expenses, and $100 for massages, plus an annual allowance of $1,000 for continuing education.

Buffer raises the bar just a little further by reimbursing their employees for internet costs and giving them $500 for home office set-up; a $200 per month allotment for coffee shop working; $200 annually for technical needs, and $850 for continuing education.

So, you can see that work-from-home perks can be different from one organization to the next, but they’re typically based on a few main factors:

👉 Company size – Big companies with loads of resources might be more generous with their stipends. They may offer bigger allowances to cover a wider range of expenses, from fancy office gear to extra perks like home gym memberships or meal delivery services. Smaller companies might not have as much dough to dish out, so their stipends may be a bit more modest.

👉 Industry flavor – Some industries, like tech or finance, are known for being pretty generous with perks in general, so it wouldn’t be surprising if they’re also hooking up their remote workers with sweet stipends. On the flip side, other industries or smaller organizations might be a bit more conservative with their spending, so their stipends may be more on the basic side.

👉 Nature of the work – If employees are working in a role where they need top-notch tech gear or specialized tools to get the job done, their stipend may reflect that. On the other hand, if their work mostly involves tapping away at a keyboard and joining Zoom calls, the WFH stipend might focus more on covering just the essential home office elements like wifi and a webcam. There’s also the question of whether the roles are full-time or part-time, so there are definitely some variations to consider.

When it comes to work-from-home stipends, there’s no one-size-fits-all package. It’s all about finding the right “toppings” to match your company’s flavor, i.e., the size of your workforce, industry vibes, and nature of your business.

 

The Difference Between a Stipend & a Salary

Simply put, a salary is your employees’ monthly paycheck; it’s the bread and butter that keeps their finances flowing and their households harmonious. It’s what they earn for showing up and getting their work done, whether in the office or working from home with a dog in their lap.

Now, when it comes to a work-from-home stipend, it’s more like a bonus check — on top of their regular salary — that employers offer to help cover the extra costs of remote work for their employees. Instead of being part of their regular pay, it’s extra cash meant specifically for things like coworking space memberships, setting up their home office, or covering that incessant internet bill.

So, while their salary is the overall compensation for the work they do, the work-from-home stipend is more like targeted assistance for specific expenses that come with working remotely. It’s a little boost to make sure your teams have everything they need to be productive and comfortable while working from home. Think of it this way: the salary keeps the lights on, but the WFH stipend helps make sure those lights shine bright in their home offices.

 

Benefits of WFH stipends

Why are work-from-home stipends the bomb for both your employees and your business?

First up, let’s look at it from the employee’s side. Imagine getting a little extra cash to deck out your home office or cover Wi-Fi expenses. It’s a little pat on the back for working hard from the comfort of their own home. Plus, having the right setup can seriously boost their productivity and make their workday a whole lot smoother. And let’s not forget about the added perk of saving time and money on commuting – that’s more time for Netflix and fewer dollars spent on gas, vehicle wear and tear, or public transportation.

Now, flip the coin and check out the benefits for employers (aka you). Happy employees make for a happy workplace, right? Well, offering WFH stipends can seriously increase your team’s satisfaction. When they feel supported and valued, they’re more likely to stick around and give their best. And bonus — having a flexible work setup can attract top talent from all over the globe, not just within a reasonable commuting distance from the office.

But wait, there’s more! 

Depending on where you are, there might be some tax benefits for both parties. Employees could claim deductions for home office expenses, and employers could save on unnecessary costs like brick-and-mortar office space and utilities.

So yeah, WFH stipends are a win-win all around. Employees get the support they need to work comfortably and efficiently from home, while employers reap the benefits of happier, more productive teams. It’s like the cherry on top of the work-from-home sundae.

Here are just five ways WFH stipends can supercharge productivity and keep the remote work vibe buzzing:

✅ Better Workspace Setup: With a work-from-home stipend, employees can create a killer home office setup tailored to their needs, leading to better focus and productivity.

✅ Reduced Stress: By covering expenses like internet costs, printer paper, and office equipment, stipends ease financial and capability concerns, allowing employees to concentrate on their work without distractions.

✅ Increased Job Satisfaction: Feeling supported by their employer boosts morale and makes employees feel valued, supporting a healthier company culture and higher levels of employee engagement, satisfaction, and commitment to their work.

✅ Flexibility and Comfort: Stipends empower employees to customize their workspace for comfort and efficiency (something they often can’t do in a cubicle farm), resulting in happier and more comfortable remote work environments.

✅ Enhanced Work-Life Balance: With the right tools and resources, employees can better manage their time and enjoy a healthier balance between work and personal life, ultimately leading to increased motivation and job satisfaction.

 

Companies Offering Remote Work Stipends

Wondering what a generous work-from-home stipend looks like? Check out these bangers!

1. Hoppier

Hoppier

Step outside the (printer paper) box! Instead of a WFH stipend for office supplies and desk chairs, invest in your employees’ career advancement and watch them level up the business from the inside out.

Hoppier‘s putting up a cool $5k to help their employees level up their careers. With that extra cash, they can dive into online courses and certifications to boost their skills and pave the way for well-deserved promotions and new opportunities. It’s a win-win for the workforce and the company, plus it’s a supercharge to their employees’ personal growth.

Testimonial: “Great opportunity to learn a lot, grow within the company, and develop interpersonal skills.”

 

3. Deel

Deel

Give employees the gift of options because paying them in yoga and smoothies may be more effective than you ever knew.

Deel supports a fully remote workforce across 107 countries. This is why one of the biggest perks they offer is the ability to “work from wherever” — not just from home. There are no restrictions on their employees’ work environment of choice (assuming they have internet access) and Deel offers their team members $100 each month toward their wellness goals.

Testimonial: “Working remotely is great, and if you love traveling and hate commuting, then you’ll love it!”

 

4. Google

Google

Find out what your employees need and drop a few extras into your employee benefits package. Even within a hybrid work model, your stipend policy can have a huge impact on employee satisfaction.

Google’s remote work allowance is pretty straightforward. They offer a one-time payment of $1000 to cover remote work expenses and a ton of employee support in other areas like education reimbursement, financial coaching, and mentorship programs. I

n-office perks like massage programs, fitness centers, and the option to work from anywhere for four weeks each year make the hybrid setup (plus the $1k lump-sum payout) sound pretty appealing.

Testimonial: “The tuition reimbursement really means that Google’s invested in the employees and into my personal goals – not just professional.”

 

5. Shopify

shopify

Expand your healthcare perks to include more mental health-related coverage, and watch your employee retention soar — it matters!

Including mental health care in your stipend coverage is a business expense that pays you back in spades, and Shopify has the inside track.

Their stipend covers everything from immigration, adoption, and fertility assistance to wellness reimbursements and pet insurance. Having an issue with any one of these can be super stressful, but Shopify is covering all the bases by making sure their employee support is solid, just in case.

Testimonial: “Genuinely remote culture — unlike other companies, there’s no risk or threat of being mandated back into the office. Because the entire company is remote, everything is designed with this in mind.”

 

6. LinkedIn

LinkedIn

Never underestimate the power of offering your employees perks beyond the standard benefits package.

LinkedIn’s backend operations mirror its front-end purpose: helping people advance, both personally and professionally.

Their stipend perks include educational subscriptions, software discounts, and a fully paid week off at the end of the year. And their PerkUp! extras program offers an allowance that can be used towards tax prep fees, housecleaning, and even doggie daycare!

Testimonial: “Excellent culture and a strong focus on wellbeing while you are with them. The perks and benefits are superb – Family first approach.”


People Also Ask These Questions About Work From Home Stipends

Q: Are companies required to provide a stipend for remote employees?

  • A: Only California and Illinois have requirements when it comes to remote stipends. Otherwise, there are no hard and fast rules stating that companies have to offer stipends for their remote workers. It’s more of a bonus perk that many organizations present to sweeten the employment pot and boost their remote teams’ retention.

Q: What can a work-from-home stipend be used for?

  • A: A work-from-home stipend can be used to make an employee’s home office more like their professional base camp. They can spend it on the things that make them feel more effective and comfortable for maximum productivity. Ultimately, it depends on the employer’s specific remote work policies. Still, some examples may be home office gear like an ergonomic chair or a second monitor for better visibility, tech upgrades, office furniture, utility bills, digital tools, and professional development – all WFH stipend-worthy.

Q: How does a company determine the amount for a work-from-home stipend?

  • A: When determining the amount of money to offer employees for a work-from-home stipend, there’s no black-and-white formula. Remote companies might look at factors like the cost of living in their region vs. where their remote employees actually live, industry standards, and related expenses based on the remote roles. Of course, budget conditions play a part, too, but so does the condition of your company culture.

Q: Are work-from-home stipends taxable?

  • A: Unfortunately, when it comes to the IRS, there’s no difference between the base salary and the stipend amount. All monetary compensation earned in the US is taxable income, so most work-from-home stipends are also reportable income for your employees. One caveat may be educational reimbursements – as long as the money is used for costs associated with continuing education (i.e. tuition, books, supplies, fees, etc.), the stipend may be tax-free.

Q: How can employees request a work-from-home stipend?

  • A: Employees can request a work-from-home stipend in a few different ways: send their boss a friendly email or catch them for a quick chat after their next virtual coffee break. The key is being honest about their needs and how a home office stipend could help them work better from their home base.

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