The Coronavirus pandemic has caused many companies to close their physical offices and work from a remote or home office. Architecture firms are no exception. But the question remains whether architects can work from home and do so economically, given that their work's crux lies on-site.
Ready for remote working since 2008
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the architecture industry has been ready for business disruption for more than a decade. The 2008 property bubble burst crisis forced many architects to become extra alert, frugal, and creative. This is why architects have been more resilient towards the changed working environments, compared to professionals from other industries, during the pandemic.
A survey by ArchDaily showed that 65% of the respondents have already worked from home in the past. The covid19 pandemic has not created much more negative impact on these respondents. In fact, many architects in the United States have taken to working online, providing their design and advisory services through web meetings and emails.
This type of remote set-up has helped architects save a pretty penny. Here we see how working from home can help architects in the United States remain economical.
5 ways remote working saves money for architects
1. Work from home set-up avoids office rental costs
Freelance architects and architects who run their own firms, need to rent office spaces to run their business. According to a report by JLL, asking rent in the US, for Q1 2020, has grown by 0.6%. Architects will need to meet these rising rental costs to rent their office spaces.
But many cities’ lockdown restrictions made the architects’ return to the office unfeasible. Instead, many of them started to set up an office at home and comfortably run their business. Office utilities is another expense that the architects won’t need to pay anymore.
In addition to this, there will be no need to rent/purchase office equipment. This too will save a tremendous amount of money for the architecture firms.
2. Working from home reduces commuting costs
A large part of an architect’s job involves site visits. With the rising costs of gas, commuting has become a major expense for architecture firms.
But the covid19 crisis has put a stop to travel across many states and even internationally. Now, you do not need to travel to see your buildings. The reduction in commuting can save a lot of money on both gas and public transport.
3. Work from home limits the number of insurance policies you need to take
If architects continued to work from the office, they would have had to purchase a wide range of insurance policies such as the insurance to cover their office equipment.
Working from home, architects still need to get professional liability insurance to cover the professional service related risks.
The architect professional liability insurance, comes into effect if a client or a third-party claims damages against your firm on grounds of poor service, negligent acts, errors, omissions in the works you deliver.
4. Working from home prevents discretionary and lifestyle spending
Working outside often entails eating outside. It also means attending business meetings, client pitches and other business gathering – for which architects will need to purchase the right clothes, accessories and so on. Child care is another expense that architects need to spend on, when working out of the house.
All of these discretionary and lifestyle expenses will no longer be there when you work from home. Overall, working remotely will help you avoid all those expenses that you may otherwise indulge in, if working on-site.
5. Work from home entitles architects to tax breaks
The United States does offer tax breaks for professionals who work from home. Home office deduction, partial write-offs on rent, electricity bills, internet bills, mortgage, equipment, insurance etc., healthcare expenses and pass-through deduction are some things that architects can claim when working from home.
Not just savings, but increased earnings too
Given that architects working remotely will be saving on various expenses, it’s safe to say that their net fees/salary will be much higher than what they may otherwise have, compared to working on-site or at the office.
By working remotely and making smart investments, like the professional liability insurance for Architects, you can run a successful and economical business during and after the coronavirus pandemic.