In today's highly digital and technology-driven world, having up-to-date devices and software is crucial for productivity and staying competitive in the market. One way to ensure your employees can access the latest tech is to offer a technology employee stipend. This ensures that employees have the tools and resources they need to perform their job effectively and efficiently.
In this article, we'll explore the benefits of a technology stipend and explain how you can offer this perk to your employees.
How does a technology stipend work?
A technology stipend, also known as a tech stipend, technology allowance, or equipment stipend, is a set amount of money that a company offers its employees to buy technology-related items and services. Employers typically offer them as an annual, quarterly, or monthly stipend. Employees can use it to cover expenses such as purchasing new devices, upgrading existing equipment, or subscribing to software and online services.
Why should you offer a technology stipend?
Technology is constantly evolving. When you provide a tech stipend to your team, you support your employees in keeping up with the latest advancements. By offering this benefit, companies enhance the working experience for their remote employees and demonstrate their commitment to investing in their workforce.
For employees, a technology stipend brings several advantages. It gives them the freedom to choose the specific technology products or services that best suit their personal or work-related needs. Whether they require a new laptop, a smartphone upgrade, or software subscriptions, a tech stipend allows them to make these purchases without incurring personal expenses.
A technology stipend can also empower your employees to personalize their work environment. Everyone has their own preferences and work styles. By having access to the right technology tools, employees can optimize their productivity and efficiency. This can improve the employee experience by increasing job satisfaction and overall performance.
What's covered by a technology stipend?
Employers can offer a stipend for employees’ work-related technology expenses, personal tech as an extra perk, or both.
A technology stipend can help bridge the digital divide by providing financial support to those who may not have access to the latest technology. Let's look at some common expenses that a technology stipend can cover.
While the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us, remote work is here to stay. The Pew Research Center1 estimates that about 14% of Americans are working from home all the time. Additionally, 41% of people are working a hybrid schedule.
A technology stipend can help your remote team set up or upgrade their home office space with the latest and greatest tech. They can put that money toward home office expenses such as wireless keyboards, webcams, laptops, monitors, and computer accessories.
If you want to offer your employees a broader scope of work-from-home expenses, consider going with a remote work stipend.
With a remote stipend, you can reimburse your employees for:
- Office equipment like desks, ergonomic office chairs, filing cabinets, and bookcases.
- Office supplies like paper, pens, or sticky notes.
- The cost of using a co-working space.
Cell phone and internet access
According to J.D. Power2, the average cell phone plan costs nearly $130 per month. If your employees use their personal cell phones for work, you can reimburse them through a technology or remote work stipend. This is a desired perk among many employees. Our 2022 Employee Benefits Survey Report found that 47% of remote workers value phone or internet reimbursement.
Reliable, high-speed internet access is a necessity for remote employees. Unfortunately, the best connection will cost them. As TechRadar3 reports, 67% of people wished their employer covered their internet costs while working remotely.
Apps, subscriptions, and more
There's an app for everything these days. With a technology stipend, your employees can purchase apps that boost their productivity. This includes note-taking apps, calendar apps, and task managers. There are also apps that can help support their mental health and well-being.
Additionally, your employees can invest in subscriptions and software that simplify daily tasks. They could also use a technology stipend on certification programs that sharpen their skill sets.
How do other companies offer technology stipends?
Technology stipends can vary significantly from one company to another. Some organizations may offer a fixed-sum stipend, while others may provide a budget that employees can allocate as they see fit. Furthermore, companies may have specific guidelines or restrictions on the types of technology items the stipend will cover.
Here are some examples of how other companies offer this benefit:
- New team members at Summit CPA Group4 get a $3,000 technology stipend on a prepaid card.
- Buffer5 offers its employees an annual $200 technology stipend. The company also provides a one-time payment of $500 to set up their offices.
- Shopify6 gave its employees a one-time stipend of $1,000 to buy office supplies. This helped to ease the transition of working remotely during the pandemic.
- Noom7 provides a $1,000 work-from-home tech budget for employees to design their offices.
How can you offer a technology stipend at your organization?
With WorkPerks by PeopleKeep, offering a technology stipend to your employees is easy. Our benefits administration platform simplifies the entire process. Employers can offer a fully customizable monthly, quarterly, or annual stipend. You simply choose how much you want to offer to your workers and design your benefit to best fit your needs.
Once you invite your employees to participate, they make out-of-pocket technology purchases and submit receipts for reimbursement. Then, you approve their reimbursement from your dashboard up to their allowance amount. WorkPerks makes it possible to set up and manage your benefit in minutes each month. This saves you time and energy to put back into other areas of your business.
Along with a technology stipend, WorkPerks allows you to create a variety of other custom stipends. You can choose to offer additional stipends for health, wellness, travel, education, or professional development, to name a few possibilities.
Stipends are cost-effective and easy to administer, but they are often subject to taxes. If you offer a technology stipend to your employees, it may beconsidered part of their taxable income. You can reference IRS Publication 502 or speak with a tax professional to determine the taxability of your employee benefits.
In today's digital age, technology is becoming increasingly important in our personal and professional lives. A technology stipend is a valuable benefit companies offer to support their employees' access to the latest tech tools and resources.
Employers demonstrate their commitment to fostering a productive and innovative work environment by providing this allowance. For employees, a technology stipend brings the opportunity to stay up to date with advancements, personalize their work experience, and enhance their overall job satisfaction.