What is remote working worth to me?

2 min read

Can you put a price tag on remote work? Well, I intend to.

I’ve been working remotely as a web developer since February of 2017. Honestly, I don’t think there’s a better work environment. You can generally start when you want to, take breaks when you want to, and end when you want to. What I’m describing isn’t a slacker’s paradise…because honestly it’s very easy to know when a person is barely getting any work done.

I’m talking about the ability to live like an adult and schedule your own damn day. Often times, I go over the amount of time I should have spent working. Working 10+ hours a day, but from home, is extremely comfortable and I barely realize that I do it.

But, this post is about figuring out the monetary value that will get me to stop remotely working and return to an office.

Commute costs

My old job was 8.7 miles away from me, so 17.4 miles every day. While my 2006 Prius gets ~42MPG, let’s just go ahead and use the IRS’ 2018 mileage rates to cover gas, maintenance, licensing and other related vehicle costs: 54.5 cents per mile. Also, let’s figure you take two weeks of vacation a year, and 8 paid holidays…making 222 work days every year.

17.4 * $0.545 = $9.48 per day, $189.60 per month, $2,104.56 per year (with holidays taken out)

Let’s go a little deeper still with the commute costs. It isn’t just about the wear and tear on the vehicle, it’s also about the time you could have spent working for a client at your hourly wage…instead of on the highway.

Commute time: 24min
Round trip: 48min
Hourly wage: $75
Daily wages lost: $60
Yearly wages lost: $13,320

With the commute’s vehicle expenses and lost wages, we’re looking at potentially $15,424.56 per year.