Home office expenses may represent 25% increase in families’ bills, FGV finds
The COVID-19 pandemic led to social distancing restrictions and resulted in millions of Brazilians working from home. This has several positive aspects, but without doubt it also generates some extra costs for families. According to Fundação Getulio Vargas’ Brazilian Institute of Economics (FGV IBRE), spending on services such as internet, water, food and power, which rises a lot in the summer, may have increased as much as 25%, as measured by FGV’s Consumer Price Index. The exact increase depends on the number of people in the household and work routines. According to FGV IBRE, these items account for 35% of family spending.
To measure the impact of home working and help companies prepare for Law 13,467 of 2017, which regulates this activity, FGV IBRE has created a basket of products and services that are most used by people working from home, called the Home Office Basket. This product, which will not be publicly disclosed, is based on Fundação Getulio Vargas’ Consumer Price Index. The aim is to track the prices of specific items in the basket of products consumed by families associated with telecommuting. It covers the prices of natural gas, mobile telephony, meals outside the home, newspapers, pay TV, computers and peripherals, furniture and other things needed to work at home.
“We have seen many companies migrating to remote home and this movement accelerated because of the pandemic. In other words, it is here to stay and comprehensive. In addition, there is a law that regulates remote work and it will require adjustments to employment contracts, aligning costs and responsibilities. Our idea is to help companies with this process so they can plan better,” says Bruna Inojosa, FGV IBRE’s product coordinator.
The Home Office Basket is composed of data provided by FGV Data and published monthly. It simulates a basket of products and services used for remote work, allowing companies to monitor the evolution of their prices. Seeing this evolution aids good management and boosts productivity.
More details can be found on FGV IBRE’s website.