WFH: Negatives to consider?
WFH: Negatives to consider?
Working from home (WFH) certainly has many benefits: a flexible schedule, increased family time and avoiding the stress of a daily commute. But there are also the negatives to consider – one of which is that WFH can become expensive.
“Counterintuitively, a recent study published by US-based CreditCards.com states that the monthly costs for people working from home have increased,” points out Ettienne van Niekerk, offer marketing and prescription manager at Schneider Electric’s building business. “According to the study, the biggest increases are linked to power and utility costs as well as groceries.”
Additionally, many employees have upgraded their data plans, purchased must-have productivity peripherals and now require regular office supplies such as printer cartridges and other stationery. This all starts adding up.
“If you look at it logically, this does make sense. Luckily, in a time when South Africans are still reeling from the biggest electricity hikes in recent times, expenses such as power usage can be mitigated quite effectively through the correct steps.”
He adds that now is as good as time as any to start converting your home into an energy efficient environment.
“What is contributing the most to your home’s power bill? Are energy-intensive appliances such as geysers burning the midnight oil? Are your light bulbs converted to the latest energy-efficient options or do they still resemble Thomas Edison’s original invention? This might not seem significant, but it all adds to your monthly electricity bill,” he warns.
“Home automation products and options can take the hard work out of managing your energy usage more efficiently. An integrated home-automation system, for example, will enable you to control your lighting and any other connectable devices and appliances.
“Home automation can be used to control most electrical loads, from the simple switching of a lighting circuit to a variable type of control, such as those for LED lights that can be dimmed. The control does not have to be residing on a computer-like system but can be achieved through analogue and standalone measures as well, such as through electro-mechanical timers and standalone occupancy sensors.”
He adds that remote metering can give you continuous insights into your energy consumption, enabling you to react and adjust accordingly.
“A smart, WFH-ready environment will not be complete without a sound power backup system. There is a good deal of information that talks about the right backup solution for workers’ specific needs. Here, UPSs (Uninterrupted Power Supplies), photo-voltaic systems and traditional generators come to mind.”
UPSs enable users to run essentials such as routers and laptops when the power goes off. An extra benefit is that UPSs protect downstream equipment against surges when the power does get restored or when the supply is unstable.
“If you consider these options, much can be gained without having to break the bank. My advice is to start with the basics and advance gradually. With every step, you will be taking firmer control over your home’s energy consumption while moving ever closer to a fully automated and efficient environment.”