SURVEY SAYS: Which work-related expense would you most like to be reimbursed for?

Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, which everyday work-related expense would you most like your employer to reimburse you for?
By PS

Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, which everyday work-related expense would you most like your employer to reimburse you for?    

The number one selection by readers, by far, was commuting, with 61% choosing this expense. Lunch came in second with 15% of votes, followed by daycare and clothing and accessories at 9% each. Seven percent selected coffee, and no one chose snacks.    

Among “other” responses, parking was the number one expense respondents said they would most like to be reimbursed for, followed by internet access at home. Several readers said there is no everyday work-related expense they would like to be reimbursed for. Others said exercise classes, headache medicine, boarding of animals during work-related trips, continuing education, housekeeping, snow removal, newspapers and dry cleaning.    

In comments, several readers expressed that they didn’t think employers should be responsible for such expenses. Others sang praises for what their employers already pay for.     

The comment I like most was “I probably would dress better if someone else paid for it.”

Verbatim    

I was originally thinking gas, but when I saw daycare on the list I immediately jumped on it. I would have so much extra money every month if I did not have to pay for daycare!!! 

   

Daycare would be nice, but is unrealistic. Parking would be great. 

   

In this economy, I am thankful for work expenses because it means I have a job! 

   

My company already matches money I put aside in a pre-tax account for daycare. All of the expenses above are clearly (to me) employee expenses - with the possible exception of clothing depending on the type of job/position. Would always appreciate more - but cannot honestly say that any of these should be my employer's responsibility. 

   

They are too high and increasing at a time when other expenses are increasing but pay is not increasing at all. 

   

I bring my lunch to save money. It would be nice to get out of the office with a paid lunch. 

   

This is where the headaches and gray hair come from. 

   

Definitely parking. The monthly fee to park downtown is outrageous. 

   

Pay for commuting, or let me work from home, so I don't have to commute! 

   

Time and money to commute drains an employee that already has to do the work of 2-3 people because the company won't staff properly. Reimburse my cost of commuting or at least set me up and allow me to work from home. But no, my company moved my office farther away into a terrible and unsafe neighborhood and then the executives from Michigan tell me how nice it is. Don't tell me to get another job - at 63 1/2 that is not an option; I've tried. 

   

I work from home, as do most of my coworkers...after moving everyone to work at home only THEN did my company choose to cancel the reimbursement for high speed Internet...noting anyone could move back to the office if they wanted. 

   

No raises or bonuses in 3 years; with the cost of gas continuing to go up along with everything else, and since all other departments continue to get raises and bonuses, paying for our gas is the least they can do. 

   

Living in Alaska, everything is more expensive...even gasoline for my vehicle, strangely enough. At least it is a much shorter commute than I used to have down below, so the net result is a $0 increase. But, it would still be nice to have that money back in my pocket! 

   

Would be especially appreciated when I have to work through lunch to get a project done within a deadline (which happens often these days). 

   

I drive about 75 miles a day to get to and from work. Sure would be nice to be reimbursed for the cost of gas. The company's management team not only have company provided vehicles, they are also reimbursed for all of their gas expense. It is really tough to hear some of them complain about the terrible burden of having to pay income tax on the personal portion of this benefit! 

   

My commute is the largest expense. Clothing would be my second choice.

Verbatim (cont.)    

I drive 50 miles per day, so gas is my biggest expense other than the car payment. If I wasn't past the daycare days, that would have been my choice. With 2 kids, it ate a whole paycheck each month in summer and not much less during the school year. So glad to be done with that. 

   

Would love to be reimbursed for the "inconvenience tax" of having to come in to the office every day. 

   

That was an easy choice. At $20,000/yr., the other options combined don't even come close to daycare (for 3 kids). 

   

I checked commuting, but I probably would dress better if someone else paid for it. 

   

We have a Seatle's Best in the building - no free coffee here!!! 

   

We receive a transit allowance already - enough to more than cover my monthly bus pass. Coffee and tea are provided free in every kitchen. They pay for my professional memberships. We have department lunches every other week. Someone is always bringing in snacks. Hey, my company sounds pretty great! When we went to jean-Fridays, I had to buy some (ok, many!) but jeans can be worn everywhere. Cannot imagine turning in my clothing receipts - sizes, prices, stores?! oh my! Sounds like a potential case for expansion of the PHI regs. 

   

I do not think my employer should reimburse any of my personal expenses. 

   

I think we need to toughen up. I believe in the at-will employers approach....we don't need the extras, though nice to have, they don't make or break retention. That said, since I can't wear sweats and flip flops to work, I'm asking for $ for clothing. 

   

My commute is 80 miles roundtrip every day, and costs me about $3100 a year with gas at its current price. I'd be happy to work from home and save that money--it'd be a cost of living raise, which we haven't had in years. 

   

I don't really think this is a reasonable list. We have to eat and get dressed. I have a short commute and can telecommute, daycare is no longer an issue and I don't drink coffee. The only two with a direct business connection are lunch (which can contribute to health and productivity if better options are available) and clothing (which can enhance the brand when interacting with customers). I don't do much of that, however, so that's why I chose lunch. 

   

None of the above will get reimbursed because we're all in unique situations, I don't think our employers want to be in the business of paying our expenses...that's why they give us PAYCHECKS! 

   

When we are extremely busy and it's hard to get away from our desks, I would like the company to have lunch brought in for us. It would save us time, money and increase morale. 

   

We already receive free coffee and sodas and subsidized snacks; my commute is minimal, and I don't need daycare. Wow! I'm actually doing great, aren't I? 

   

I guarantee if companies reimbursed commuting expenses they'd be a lot more willing to be flexible and actively support work at home arrangements. 

   

Gym membership especially if they offer a healthcare plan. Just makes sense. 

   

Coat/tie expected. Suits, sportcoats, ties, accessories for this type of "ensemble" are easily $1K+/yr. 

   

With gas prices remaining high, commuting is definitely the work-related item that most impacts my bottom line!! 

   

I live 50 miles away, the price of gas is really hurting me. We live in a very rural area and there are no jobs here. So, I can't look for work elsewhere. 

   

I use my internet connection everyday at home for work purposes. 

   

With today's technology, anyone can pretty much work anywhere. If they want us to come into an office, they should help with the expense. 

   

It's early..and when I first read this I thought it said experience versus expense. IF that had been the case, I would have said pain and suffering. But...I'll stick with commuting. I have a long drive and an OLD vehicle. 

   

Daycare? Seriously? Why should you be reimbursed for that? 

   

Arguably, your pay takes into account things like getting to work, and eating. Daycare, if required, should be on your own dime. After all, you chose to have kids and to work. However, workplace dress codes can amount to a "uniform" requirement, and it isn't cheap.

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