The BLS reports that around 27% of US workers worked remotely, at least part-time, in 2022. This year, about 40.9% of American employees work from home, full-time or hybrid. And according to Upwork, 32.6 million Americans will be working remotely by 2025.
This shifting trend in the American workplace has influenced the lifestyle of many people. Now that you can work remotely, you don’t have to settle somewhere you’re not fond of just because of your job. Suppose you live in Chicago, the No. 1 metro city in the US for business. However, despite its flourishing market, it ranks 5th city most Americans are leaving. Now that remote working opportunities are increasing, you can work from home while living in your dream area.
However, moving a home office is different from residential moving. These moves are often larger and more complex as they involve bulky office furniture and electronic equipment. Here’s how you can navigate moving your home office.
Hire commercial movers
Professional moving companies help you with the entire moving journey, from packing and traveling to assembling furniture. Suppose you’re on a strict schedule and have limited vacation days to set up your home office. Furthermore, you live in a city like Chicago, which has the 2nd worst traffic in the world. It would be impossible to get everything done on time by yourself and be able to navigate the gruesome Chicago traffic simultaneously; you’ll need much support.
With an absurd amount of parking tickets and a 114% increase in vehicle robberies since 2018, professional commercial movers can provide much-needed security. Since transporting valuable equipment can be dangerous, you should hire a trustworthy commercial moving company like Pickens-Kane to take care of your belongings. They are one of the best Chicago commercial movers in the area and have been providing stress-free moves to residents of Illinois residents since 1914. Their experience allows them to easily navigate the city’s traffic, avoid costly parking tickets, and safely escort your belongings.
Considering a few legal risks before moving your home office to another state would be best. One of them is payroll and tax requirements. Suppose you work in Chicago, IL but live in San Francisco, CA. In that case, there is a unique consideration for payroll, where you’ll pay taxes to the State you live in. This legality is also called the physical presence rule. Even if your company doesn’t have an office in your State, they can still withhold taxes from your home state and the State where the company operates.
However, this legality can be complex if you’re working hybrid in different states. Some states have special agreements known as Reciprocal Laws to solve this issue. This agreement lets you pay the tax of only one State. Suppose you work in Illinois but live in New York. In that case, you will only pay tax to New York.
It would help if you also considered home office expenses and reimbursements. There are some costs of working from home that you should consider and ask your company to reimburse them. Some of these expenses are:
• Phone bills
• Printer and printing supplies
• Subscription for online platforms like Zoom
Though Federal Law does not require employers to reimburse employees, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is an important rule. This rule states that if an employee’s expenses go below the minimum wage set by the government, the employer must reimburse the employee for those expenses. When you move your home office, consider states that have these laws. Researching these legalities can save you from future costs and safeguard your rights.
Talk to your employer.
While 90% of employers don’t see the harm in remote work as it doesn’t harm productivity, you should still set a meeting with your boss to discuss relevant details. It would be best to ask how far you can move and whether or not you can take the necessary office equipment. This clarification can help you select a new location and plan for your new home office accordingly.
Also, ask about any changes in your salary. Suppose you work in Chicago, which has a 20% higher cost of living than the National average. But you live in Florence, which has a cost of living 15% below the national average. In that case, your employer might pay you less because you live in an affordable city like Florence, where groceries and rent are cheaper.
Other perks like health insurance and paid leaves can vary from state to state. So, it is essential to communicate with your employer about all your work concerns before moving your home office to another state.
Commercial moving is already more complex and expensive, so you should remove all unnecessary items as you pack. You don’t need to bring your old office chair if you plan to get a new one. Shred and discard unimportant work files, and prioritize what you want to keep. You can also consider downsizing on large equipment like your printer and choose a small printer for your home office instead.
You save room and travel light by replacing large items with smaller equipment. Remember to pack necessary office supplies properly and label them to ensure easy access to essential supplies. The fewer items you take, the quicker you can set up your home office.
Secure data and documents
Before you move across states, make sure you back up your data and secure your digital files. You should make copies of important files and keep them in a portable USB if you need emergency access on the road. This step is also essential to safeguard critical data. Suppose your truck gets into an unfortunate accident, which destroys your computer. In that case, backing up all crucial information keeps you from losing it.
You should also protect sensitive documents such as contracts or financial records during your move. Instead of placing them in a moving truck where they can easily get lost, secure them in a box and keep them with you during your journey.
Working from home can be challenging when you’re moving your home. You cannot work unless you reach and set up your new home office, which can decrease your performance. However, these tips can help ensure your relocation across states is efficient and quick so you can get back to work as soon as possible.