A Letter To College Students During This Pandemic

A Letter To College Students During This Pandemic

Dear Students,

This is anything but a normal year for you. Some of you may have graduated this spring, transferred to other colleges, or in your first year. I truly feel for you. Experiencing a health crisis is tough enough but this economic downturn will have major repercussions. If this is your graduation year, it could mean the loss of summer internships. Also, there may be uncertainty about job offers you accepted to begin your careers in the Fall. If you are returning to your campuses, it likely will remain difficult with social distancing a requirement.

As a professor, I am experiencing a disruption to our academic term. My college students are from a diverse community college in an urban setting. Their communities are among the most severely impacted by the pandemic. Most work while attending school. Many are first responders or working in essential roles as healthcare workers while taking care of family members. While this letter is for them, I am writing to all college students.

A Changing Landscape

Every student in college has been impacted. Feeling a sense of loss akin to grief would be totally normal. One day you are at school with an essential structure, mixing your social and academic lives in a healthy blend. Virtually the next day you are home, remotely learning and with your parents. This abrupt ending to that structure is unsettling.

Freshmen were just getting comfortable adjusting to dorm life when they were rushed home. On the other hand, seniors should have been experiencing a rush of excitement and nervousness about entering the real world. Now that landscape, which was looking so promising, has changed overnight. The class of 2019 enjoyed the best job market since 2007. More than half of the class of 2007 college grads had job offers by the time of graduation. Your world may now look more like the classes of 2008 and 2009 who were most affected by the Great Recession. Fewer than one fifth of graduating seniors in 2009 had job offers.

Economic Downturn is Here

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics in July 2009 when the overall US unemployment was 9.4%, those who were 20-24 years were experiencing 15.3% unemployment.

Related Post: Why Employment Matters?

One question that may be on your mind is whether the pandemic will create generational pressure on your class as GenZers similar to that of Millennials. Many studies have shown that Millennials, born in the 1980s, struggled out of the college gate. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis did a study entitled, “A Lost Generation.” That report found that wealth in 2016 of a median family headed by someone born in the 1980s remained 34% below expectations based on earlier generations at the same age.

Recessions tend to be hardest on those entering the job market with a college degree in hand but not a lot of work experience. My own teens are not yet in college but I can imagine what parents are thinking. Every parent wants their children to do better than they did. They want their children to be happy, healthy, fulfilled and have enough wealth to be financially comfortable.

Related Post: How To Prepare For A Coronavirus-Related Recession

Ominous Forecasts Near-Term

Hearing economic forecasts of 30%+  unemployment rates in the near term with GDP contractions of 34% in the second quarter 2020 definitely sounds ominous. However, many economists are looking for improvements as early as 3Q2020. It is too early to tell with coronavirus still raging on though some say the devastating number of people affected is peaking. That means there will soon be a gradual move to more fully open the economy. Meanwhile, to stimulate the economy, the Fed has taken far more aggressive action earlier than in the previous recession. Simultaneously, the US Treasury is serving its role by rolling out large stimulus packages with more financial help on the way.

The Care Act Will Provide Some Relief

If you are carrying student loans there may be some good news for you. A major part of the $ 2.2 Trillion CARE Act is devoted to easing the student loan payments you owe from its effective date of March 13, 2020, until September 30, 2020. While temporary, Congress may keep some of these beneficial provisions longer or even made permanent. Among its major provisions are:

  • Suspension of involuntary collections of student loan debt, including wage and social security garnishments and tax refund offsets.
  • Federal loans will suspend payments automatically on Direct loans and Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) which account for 88% of federal loans.
  • No interest will accrue during the six month period. Paused payments will count toward requirements for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)  programs and income-driven repayment plans.
  • There will be no impact to your credit report as suspended payments will be reported by the US Department of Education to the national credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) as if they were on-time payments.
  • Expands IRS tax code section 127 to allow employers to reimburse up to $5,250 for most student loan payments which can be excluded from taxable income. SHRM says 8% of US organizations offer this terrific employee perk. More companies may jump on this bandwagon to help employees with these payments in the future.

These changes are automatic. This means you do not have to contact your student loan servicer. That said, if you are unsure, I think it is a good idea to inquire if your loan is covered.

What Loans Are Not Included In The Care Act

Some federal loans (about 12% of those) do not qualify for relief under the CARE Act. Excluded loans are Perkins Loans and FFEL loans held by commercial lenders. Private loans also are not part of the CARE Act. In any case, contact your private loan servicer to learn about their respective plans to ease payments during this time.

Positives That May Come Out Of This Disruption

 

1. Remote Learning And Flexible Work Options

You may have been rushed into distance learning without ever having taken a class online. Remote learning will only increase in the future. View your experience as being “thrown out of the frying pan into the fire.” As a result of the virus, the majority of college students are engaged in distance learning. Stay in contact with your professors, college advisors and, of course, your college friends. Counseling programs are available through your school remotely.

Remote learning is not perfect. There was little time for all of us to prepare. However, participation for online courses provides you with another skil lset. Many employees are now working from home so your experience with remote learning will be helpful. Expect that trend to continue as employers create more remote work options when things get back to normal.

2. Possible Stimulus Check

For students who are independent–like many who go to graduate school or are older–you may be entitled to a stimulus check. Being independent means that your parents are not claiming you as a dependent for tax purposes. Depending on your status, whether individual, married with or without children, the one time amount ranges from $1,200-$2,400 if you (and spouse) earn an income of $75,000-$150,000 plus $500 per child.

Separately, check with your college financial aid office if you are experiencing some financial difficulties. You may have stayed on campus for work opportunities if you were unable to get home. Also, if you are home, you may be in need of a computer and an internet connection. Ask about resources that may be available to you. You may be entitled to refunds for room, board, meals and other services. That refund can be used for next year unless you need emergency money for now.

3. Use This Time To Plan For Your Career

Get your resume up to date and don’t worry about work gaps or internships that were cancelled. Everyone knows the reason why you may not be working this summer. Motivate yourself to use this time to be ready when the job market improves. The worst thing you can do is sulk and feel sorry for yourself. Of course you feel sad but lift up your spirits. You are young, capable and smart. Combining those traits with a good attitude will be an important part of your future value. Make time to work on your Linkedin profile so you can stay connected and for networking.

Take any and every possible remote interview that may come your way whether it is for future internships, part-time work or a job in your career. Recruiters should be sympathetic to your plight given their own experiences during the Great Recession.

4. Do Know Your Major? If Not, Some Suggestions

If you are a first year college student, have you settled on a major? Times like these sometimes result in directional changes. I went to law school post September 11th after years of being on Wall Street. If you are undecided on your major, consider  STEM and business, both of which ranked high on these 2019 lists of best majors for lowest unemployment or highest paying majors. 

Better yet, you may be inspired by those who have been on the frontlines. Here are 6 occupations that are in demand now as part of this pandemic. The coronavirus will be hopefully under control. However, there will be growing calls for these professionals such as epidemiogists, laboratorians, registered nurses, behavioral health professionals, environmental health experts and Biostatisticians.

5. Jobs Will Be Created That Do Not Yet Exist

True, the job market may be a difficult place for the near term for those graduating this year. Think carefully about alternative options. Public service programs provided attractive employment opportunities after the last recession. If you can’t find a job, consider volunteering in an area of interest where you can learn and have worthwhile experience. Consider going to graduate or professional school directly after college if you are set on law, medicine, business, engineering or other professions.

This is a time to be as flexible as possible. You may have had your heart set on working in Silicon Valley, for Apple, Facebook, Google or other tech companies working on cutting edge technologies like artificial intelligence. That still may happen. Why not go on their respective websites and learn about what they are doing, especially to combat COVID-19 either individually or as partners? For example, Apple and Google are working together to build contact-tracing into their operating systems to contain the pandemic. There are many gaps that will create jobs  that do not exist today.

6. Life Lessons For GenZers

We are all learning life lessons about this once-in-a-lifetime experience. However, you are young and therefore more pliable than most generations currently in the workplace. Generation Z has some defining characteristics that are essential for the workplace. As the only generation that can truly be called digital natives, you are always connected, comfortable with newer technology and social media. A piece of advice, however. Put down your phones and make eye contact more.

You may welcome some of the societal changes coming as a result of this pandemic. It is well known that you like to work independently or collaboratively, and openly in work areas. Your generation is diverse and was raised with inclusivity. That can be helpful in an environment that wants to reduce income inequality.

Final Thoughts

In closing this letter to you, I know this is a painful time. You can’t change the circumstances. No one saw this pandemic coming as quickly as it did. Your future may seem a bit cloudy at the moment. Control what you can rather than focus on the negatives. Many experts are working on the health and economic crisis. Let them do their job while you do yours to the best of your ability. Be positive, be proactive and be flexible. Most of all, stay healthy!

Sincerely,

Your Professor

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Coronavirus: Protect Your Finances And Your Future

Coronavirus: Protect Your Finances And Your Future

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning

Our values are tested during a crisis. We have learned that we need to make certain changes to our lives. As such, we have adapted our social relationships, our working lives, distance learningl to preserve our health and that of our communities. Crisis breeds uncertainty which none of us like. We don’t know how long this crisis will last before we can go back to normal. What is certain is that there will be more crises in our future.

To better deal with the anxiety, focus on what you can control and be true to your long term values. Use this time to reflect on what is important to you and your family. Take measure on what you have learned during this crisis about yourself. Some of the adjustments we are making will be transformative. Besides healthy handwashing, maybe you have experienced telemedicine, distance learning or remote working, options that are likely to grow.

Increased Financial Stresses

Many families are realizing greater financial stresses during this pandemic. The economy is in a downfall, financial markets may not yet have bottomed, and job losses are rising.Take some steps to review and strengthen your financial priorities and goals.

After all, April is Financial Literacy month. COVID19 has provided new meanings to our money values. While not all of our goals relate to money, it may be more about what you value. You may need better habits to accomplish your goals. Consider what changes you can make as a result of this crisis.To better achieve our short term and long term financial goals, we need better habits.

7 Steps To Improve Your Finances:

 

 

1. Emergency Fund Is A Necessity

Building an emergency fund for unforeseen events is essential. The coronavirus is a black swan event of major magnitude. A black swan event by its very nature is an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences. We have had major flu outbreaks but the impact of COVID19 brings more comparisons to the Spanish flu in 1918.

While no one could have predicted this pandemic, we should always have access to liquidity to pay for our basic living expenses. Establish an emergency fund of at least 12 months of your living expenses and learn where to invest it. Your fund should be a big enough cushion to pay your monthly bills and costs such as food, rent or mortgage, utility, health care, car, property taxes, and pet care. Previous guidance of 3-6 months seems woefully inadequate during these times.

This is not wasting assets as some think. Instead, it is preserving your future assets prudently. Without such a fund, you may have to borrow to pay your rent and other basic needs. File for unemployment insurance in your state which has been boosted in your state. Plow any incremental savings into your fund.

2. Make Savings A Habit

Yet we all have excuses as why we don’t need to set up an emergency fund account. You believe you have a stable job, your parents will help you out or you can always use your credit cards. You may not be able to fathom putting one month of savings, let alone the recommended one year of basic living expenses  in an emergency fund. It could simply be that you are procrastinating and intend to have one. Unfortunately, you can’t time your financing needs for the unexpected times you need cash.

Start saving a little at a time. Saving is always a good financial habit. You should budget for 10%-20%  of your income to go into savings. Part of those dollars should go towards unexpected needs. With social distancing (really physical distancing), you are likely to find that you have more savings because of less entertaining, not eating out and canceling vacations.

Life will eventually go back to normal, hopefully soon. Why not put some of those savings into your emergency funds? The rest of thost funds should be distributed to paying down debt, ongoing retirement contributions and careful investing in the market. Here are some ways to save without changing your lifestyle significantly, ” 25 Ways To Save Money And Feel Good About It.”

3. How To Pay Off Debt

As a result of the coronavirus, there may be some help regarding different kinds of consumer debt. Recently, government actions have added some flexibilities for temporary forbearance or payments of student loans, mortgage loans, personal loans, car loans, or possibly credit cards. Additionally, if you own a small business with less than 500 employees there may be benefits for the owners and employees if you abide by restrictions. However, you need to understand what the rules are. For example, there may be mortgage relief associated with the coronavirus. Now would be a good time to refinance your mortgage and othr debt at lower rates.

Check These Resources For Help

However, it is best to take a look at the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau for advice. Take a look at the Small Business Administration or SBA website for their guidance, especially for disaster loans if you are a small business owner. Those who are having trouble paying your bills or loans should review America Saves has a wealth of information here. If you have federal student loans, the government has placed your loan during this emergency into administrative forbearance from mid March 2020 until end of September 2020 with more information here.

Generally, you should adopt a plan to keep your debt levels at manageable levels. I advocate reducing loans with the highest loan rates first. On the other hand, if reducing small amounts of debt works better for  your motivation, then do that.   Automate payments to avoid late payments. Pay your credit card balances in full, not just the minimum. Spend within your means to lessen or eliminate your borrowing needs and avoid having to use your credit cards excessively.

4. Stay Vigilant And Check Your Credit Reports

With every crisis, financial scams increase. Phishing and investment scams rose during the 2008 financial crisis and coronavirus outbreak is no exception.  Scams like phishing involve the sending of emails and texts purporting to be from reputable companies. They are inducing you to provide personal information, like social security numbers, credit card numbers and passwords.

Both the FTC and FDIC have issued alarms to consumers to stay vigilant. Monitor your credit reports to find errors, and to find ways to improve your FICO score. This will help put you in a position to have financial flexibility when needed.

5. Continue Your Retirement Contributions Or 529 Savings Plan

If you lost your job or are on furlough, you may not be able to make the same contributions to your 401K,  Roth IRAs or 529 Savings Plan. If you are able, continue to do so without interpretation even if in smaller amounts during this time. Remember that these accounts benefit from tax-deferments and compound growth. Avoid withdrawing money from these accounts as there may be penalties beyond the loss of growth. Hopefully, we are in a short term crisis and you don’t want to damage your long term growth.

Generally, save for retirement through tax advantaged employer-sponsored benefits. Separately open up an IRA (preferably a Roth IRA) for more retirement savings.

Set up a 529 savings plan as early as possible for your newborn. This can help you and your child avoid borrowing later on for their college tuition.

6. Investing During A Down Market

Does an economic downturn mean you should sell stocks? Not necessarily if you have a long term strategy. Financial markets go through corrections, bull and bear markets. Selling during economic downturns will provide actual rather than unrealized losses. Many times that is the worse time to sell your securities. That said, when stocks do go up, it is a good idea to at least trim some of your holdings in these kind of markets if you are risk intolerant.

Take a look at our stock indices from peak to trough during the Great Recession:

Dates                                  S&P 500                      DJIA                  NASDAQ

10/09/07-Peak                   $1,565.15                 $14,164.53            $2,803. 91

03/09/09-Trough                $ 676.53                   $ 6,547.05             $1,268.64

Percentage %                        -56.8%                     -53.78%                 -54.75%

By mid May 2009, the S&P 500 was up 30%, rising over 60% by year-end 2009. Although you can’t pick the exact bottom of the markets, you can go bargain shopping for stocks that have undergone corrections or are in bear territory. For example, tech stocks have been strong leaders in the market but corrected during US-China on-off trade talks (remember that?).

What Can We Expect

Jobless claims are soaring and will continue for at least several months. The St. Louis Fed has pointed to a 32% unemployment rate by second quarter 2020 based on credible back of the envelope calculations.  Companies are reducing their upcoming earnings forecasts because of  reduced demand. Our economy has been shocked due to disruption but the Fed continues to proactively add liquidity to our markets as the federal government has added fiscal stimulus and likely to add more to our markets.

Could this mean we can bounce back quickly from that wicked unemployment rate and if so, could we miss a stock buying opportunity?  No one has picked the bottom unless they called it retroactively. (Wink, wink). That said, for those who have some available funds, it could be a good time to invest money in stocks so long as you have a long term horizon. Use small amounts and diversify your holdings if you are buying individual stocks. Better yet, research and find some low cost index  S&P 500 funds that mirror the market.

 7. Practice Gratitude More…It Helps Our Spirits And Our Finances

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” Oprah

We still can stay connected during this crisis, if not physically at the moment. Expressing gratitude to loved ones, colleagues and our heroes help us, let alone those who deserve it. Who hasn’t felt moved by strangers helping others, checkout at the grocery store, or stories we are reading on the Internet. We have new sets of heroes to thank such as bus drivers who we usually walk past, doctors and healthcare workers who risking their lives, construction workers and so many more.

  •  Simply smile at what you have in terms of family, friends, a job or career you enjoy.
  • Send old fashioned “thank you” notes to those whom you are grateful to or for having them in your life.
  • Keep up a gratitude journal to save those great moments.
  • Practice saying and thinking about gratefulness in a meaningful way.

I admit that there are times when I focus too much on life’s burdens that feel like they are overwhelming me. Exercising your ability to switch gears to counting your blessings over burdens often works for me. With two teenagers, it can be challenging to have some quiet moments for yourself. However, I find it can work for the good.

Sometimes losing a loved one makes you more grateful. It may run counter to the most difficult experiences. My mother lost her whole immediate family and extended family except for my Uncle before the age of 20. Yet, she was always grateful for her life and that of her brother’s. It gave her the chance to have her own family.

Having a traumatic experience often makes us grateful. We truly are going through a difficult time sharing a common enemy that has no political affiliation, no color, ethnicity, or religion.

Let’s be kind and grateful to each other. By the way, did you know that gratitude can lead to better finances? Really, read about that here.

Final Thoughts

Financial stresses have increased for many Americans as a result of the coronavirus. Clearly, we are entering a period of  an economic downturn and increased uncertainties. It is a good time to focus on what we can control rather than on the uncertainties. As April is Financial Literacy month, we reviewed 7 steps to improve your finances. Think for the long term. Practice gratitude to our loved ones  which helps our spirit and patience. Stay healthy!

We appreciate you taking the time to read our blog and welcome any of your comments and thoughts!

 

 

 

Related Posts:

Why Unemployment Matters

How To Prepare For A Coronavirus-Related Recession

Coronavirus: A Tipping Point For Rising Flexible Work Options

Coronavirus: A Tipping Point For Rising Flexible Work Options

If the coronavirus has taught us one lesson, it is our need for adaptability. Virtually all aspects of our lives have had to change. By failing to change, we potentially expose ourselves to a deadly virus. Hopefully, predictions are less dire than some fear. There are benefits to be reaped from every disaster. A dramatic move to distance learning for educators and students is one positive outcome.

Another positive result is the potential advancement of remote working allowed by small-to-large employers in this post-COVID world. With 56% of the American workforce holding jobs that could be done from home, 75 million employees could be working remotely, saving employers $30 billion per day. There are advantages for both employees and employers in having work-at-home options. The necessity for social distancing may prove to be the tipping point for increased remote working arrangements.

Flexible time has already been a desirable company perk for college grads, Millennials, and even Boomers. Expect new college grads, including GenZers, to seek flexible work options as well. This trend has increased by 91% for employees in the last ten years. However, remote working tends to be more available for specific careers such as accountants and software engineers. Perks like flex-time are more common for those earning high incomes. About 75% of employees working from home earn over $65K.

Employees Are Increasing Seeking Flexible Work Options

Statistics about the direction of remote working were compelling before the coronavirus outbreak. Here are recent numbers based on various surveys:

  • In Gallup’s 2016 report, 43% of employees work remotely with some frequency. Since 2016, the Gallup State of American Workplace reports that the amount of time working at home has increased.
  • As technology expands, 62% of employees say they could work remotely, according to a later poll by Citrix in 2019.
  • 35% would change jobs for the opportunity to work from home at least some of the time, with Millennials having a greater preference at 47% compared to Boomers at 31%.
  • One-third of workers would be willing to take a 5% pay cut in exchange for the option to work from home at least part of the time—State of Remote Work 2019, Owl Labs.

Advantages Of Remote Working

Flexibility

Alternative work arrangements are valued as long as employees have reliable internet connections. The ability to have a more flexible schedule is the most significant benefit according to 32% of people who regularly work remotely as reported in a 2020 Remote Work survey. For working parents, the desire for working at home tends to be higher than people without children. Working at home tends to be less stressful. Avoiding lengthy commutes reduces angst while saving time and money. As a result of the virus outbreak and social distancing, many workers could transition fairly easily to working from home.

It is challenging for young people seeking desirable jobs in San Francisco and New York City to find affordable apartments or homes. Working from home at least part of the time could be their solution. Eliminating some commuting time would be a game-changer, especially if they are thinking about starting a family. Autonomy for employees working at home leads to improved job satisfaction.

Increased Productivity

Many employees report increased productivity working from home. If you have self-discipline, chances are those traits transfer to wherever it is that you work.  Distractions at the office occur beyond the water cooler. Gossip, office politics, meetings, and calls often threw me off my game when I worked on Wall Street. I was far more productive late at night or over the weekend when I tuned everything out, but the work needed to get done.

To be productive at home may require some self-discipline. Prioritize your “must-do” work first. Then manage your time to maximize your achievements fully. I can thank my mom, who always pestered me by asking “So what did you accomplish today?” at a very early age. One danger of working home is that many people say they work longer hours. While it is easy to justify longer work time without the commuting time, give yourself that needed break. Take a walk, exercise, or text a friend.

Working-At-Home Savings

People working from home realize additional savings. According to Global Workplace Analytics, working at home half the time results in savings of $2,500-$4,000 per year. The reduced costs stem from less travel, parking,  and food. These savings are net of expenditures for the home, such as additional energy and food costs. These outlays may vary depending on how far your commute is and if there are bridge & toll payments. You may even save money on your office wardrobes by staying in casual clothes or PJs. Remember to put these savings into your emergency funds account and invest in accessible liquid securities. We discuss why you need an emergency fund and where to invest your account here.

Time is a precious resource and worth saving. If you work remotely half the time, Analytics estimates you save the equivalent of 11 workdays based on lower commuting time. Who wouldn’t want to get those days back? There is a close relationship between time, money, and productivity.

However, not all employees want to work from home. In a Robert Hall survey, 47% of employees surveyed said that the company provides that option. Of that 47%, 76% do take advantage of the perk either working at home or elsewhere. However, 24% of employees did not opt to work outside of the office.

Reasons:

  • They did not have adequate technology available at home (39%).
  • Workers are not as productive working from home (38%).
  • Fear on missing out on opportunities or assignments if they were not in the office (29%).
  • Working at home can be lonely and missing interaction in the office (22%).

Employers Who Offer Remote Working Options To Employees

According to the SHRM 2019 Employee Benefits survey, 69% of employers offer remote work on an ad hoc basis to at least some employees. However, full-time employees are more than four times likely to get those options. Post- COVID, many employers will have had more experience and confidence to offer remote working options. Giving employees greater autonomy from working at home leads to better job satisfaction and reduced turnover, a significant benefit for employers.

Demand For Increased Working-At-Home Options

Before the coronavirus, many people sought flexible work options, including work-from-home.  It is a desirable company benefit for many candidates. Many companies have allowed their employees to work from home during the virus for the first time. 

As a result, management may be having positive experiences with remote working options. They have been able to test the resilience and productivity of their employees. With positive results, they may be more willing to encourage telecommuting. It is foreseeable that those employees who worked from home will not readily go back to working in an office environment only. Employers need to anticipate more demand for working from home options.

Increased Productivity

Many companies may have resisted allowing their employees to work at home to fear lost productivity or lack of essential technology. However, due to many employees who have been able to work from home, businesses may have realized some productivity benefits.

Those companies that had already deployed robust technology for their workers may have been more prepared for the challenges. Technology for employees requires support with web-based teleconferencing and video conference platforms. Other companies may have been more flatfooted and unable to move to a “Plan B.” These companies will need to further develop better disaster planning strategies.

Technology Is Readily Available But Are Protocols?

Telecommuting has better support from video conferencing providers–Zoom, RingCentral, Webex, DocuSign–than ten years ago. Firms can more readily address remote working with confidence if they put some protocols in place. Employees need to understand rules such as access to corporate files, availability to managers, pay for additional data, and other cost considerations.

Company Cost Savings

A typical employer could save an average of $11,000 annually per half-time telecommuting per employee based on estimates from Global Workplace Analytics. Those forecasted amounts are derived from increased productivity, lower real estate taxes, reduced absenteeism and turnover, and better disaster preparedness.

Employers are encouraged to use this Free Telework Savings Calculator which has received accolades from Congress. The comprehensive calculator allows employers to quantify benefits based on US census data from states, cities, or even counties and congressional districts with 59 variables. For example, to calculate real estate savings, employers can change assumptions based on average office size, $/square foot, person/desk ratio, and other related variables and locations.

A Societal Benefit

For companies in congested traffic areas such as Los Angeles, offering alternative working options for employees would be seen as an eco-friendly move. All organizations need to play their part in battling climate change by reducing their carbon footprint. Besides day-to-day commuting, there may be reduced business travel to meetings and conferences, reducing our energy consumption.

 

Final Thoughts

The rapid move to remote working for many organizations may enhance their bounce back faster post the virus. Covid-19 may serve as the tipping point for a trend towards alternative working arrangements that were already in demand. We will likely see that the benefits experienced by employees and employers are worth the downside of giving their workers more autonomy and improved job satisfaction. This virus may have crippled our economy, but there may be some positive outcomes as America goes back to work.

Thank you for reading!

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How To Prepare For A Coronavirus-Related Recession