A new survey shows that 86% of people who are working from home believe that remote working will remain a dominant feature of their working arrangements to some degree into late 2021.

89% of workers also said their household expenses have and will increase as a result, the latest Taxback.com Consumer Sentiment Survey Series shows. 

When asked if they were currently working from home and where did they think they will be working in 2021, 45% of workers said they see a combination of sometime in the office and some working from home. 

29% said they believed they will still be fully working from home, while 14% said they believed they will be back full time in the office in the first half of 2021 and 12% said they will be back full time in the office in the second half of next year.

52% of those surveyed also said that their household expenses - such as gas and electricity - increased "a little" because of remote working, while 37% said they had increased "a lot".

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Marian Ryan, Consumer Tax Manager at Taxback.com, said that 2020 has brought a profound shift in working trends and radically altered work environments for a huge swathe of workers, bringing about a variety of practical, financial and even mental health challenges. 

"We wanted to ascertain with this survey where people see themselves working into next year and how this impacts them financially, particularly because the current reliefs available are fairly minimal," Ms Ryan said. 

"The results are clear - the vast majority of workers believe home working will be an aspect of life for them, to varying degrees, in 2021, and any confidence of a full return to work scenario is relatively low," she added.

From a tax perspective, an employer can pay €3.20 a day to their employee to cover the additional costs incurred by working from home. 

While this payment is tax free, which means employers will not deduct PAYE, PRSI or USC from it, it is not mandatory and many businesses, who are already cutting budgets to stay afloat, are not in a position to pay this additional amount. 

Marian Ryan also said that some people are worried that because they now have what might be considered a "home office", they would no longer be eligible for the Principal Private Residence tax relief if they were to sell their home at any point in the future. She stated that this is absolutely not the case.