To Commute or Not to Commute…That is the Question
Today’s top companies are looking for great employee perks to remain competitive in attracting, as well as retaining, the best and brightest talent. In a modern trend, some employers are posing the question “to commute or not to commute” with exciting employee housing benefits.
According to Reuters, Facebook is now offering $10,000+ to employees who are willing to live within 10 miles of the office. The goal of this generous perk is to help make employees’ transition to a new, closer, home a little easier. Of course, the tradeoff -having employees who aren’t so anxious to rush out of the door to beat traffic in the evenings- benefits the company as well.
The idea of employers offering money for housing isn’t new; still, a recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management shows that it isn’t all that popular either. The study revealed that while just over 30% of employers offer some type of housing and relocation package, only 3% offer money towards a down payment.
Facebook’s new benefit is proving to be a popular move for employees, but before you hop online to apply for your next gig at the social media giant, there are a few things to consider about this work perk:
1.) Tax Implications
Unlike some other financial benefits, housing stipends are considered income. This means that they’re taxable for both the employer and employee. How does this fit within your financial plan?
2.) Long-term Costs
$10,000 may seem like a lot of money at first glance. When you consider that the average cost of homes in the area is about $1,277,375, however, it doesn’t seem like much at all. Additionally, the average rental prices hover around $3,600 per month. Is this a price you’d be comfortable with once the money runs out?
3.) Are you doing this JUST for the job?
When you buy (or rent) a home, you should make sure that you consider your current lifestyle, desired lifestyle and how well the area meets your needs. Temporary convenience should not trump your long-term goals. If you were to leave your job tomorrow, would this still be a neighborhood in which you’d want to live?
That said, there are also a number of benefits to living close to the office. Saving time (and money) and decreasing the wear and tear on your car top the list.
If you’re in the market for a new job – and your commute is a concern – several Los Angeles companies offer great perks to meet your needs. YP, for example, has a shuttle service that will take you to work while technology start-up Zefr offers bonuses to those who live close enough to ride their bikes to work.
Finding a place to live can be a tough decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. For a list of things to consider when figuring out where and if you want to purchase a home, check out our recent article, 8 Steps to Buying Your Home.
Do you live near work? Share your pros and cons with us in the comments below.