Deutsche Bank's (DB) new research suggests that remote workers should be taxed for the "privilege" of working from home!
According to DB,
- Those who work from home are getting a free ride. They are contributing less to the infrastructure of the economy while still receiving its benefits.
- WFH = savings in terms of travel, lunch, laundry etc. Plus intangible benefits of greater job security, convenience, flexibility, additional safety.
- So even if there's a 5% "privilege" tax, you would be no worse off than if you had chosen to go into the office.
The suggestion is so outlandish that it isn't even worth talking about, but humour me.
- Remote workers pay extra for setting up home office, bills for electricity, heater, co-working pass etc.
- Companies save huge costs on office rent, internet & electricity bills among many other things.
So if anyone is paying a "privilege" tax, it should be the employer. However, that would mean discouraging companies from going remote.
Surprisingly, DB doesn't talk about the positive impact on the climate due to remote work at scale. If we assume huge number of people indeed start working remotely, shouldn't the state incentivise (rather than tax) companies for being environment-friendly?