Swiss Companies to Kick in Rent for Employees Required to Work from Home

Maybe I'm not so anxious to get back to the office, after all.


By now, the novelty of working from home is wearing off. You're missing things you never thought possible: crappy office coffee, that co-worker who won't shut up, wearing pants with a non-elastic waistband. And while you might be anxious to commute somewhere other than your couch, remote work does have its perks -- especially in Switzerland. 

Earlier this month, a high court ruled that companies must pay a portion of employees' rent while they're required to work remotely, a local news outlet reports. According to Swiss Info, where the details were translated, the company in question -- an accounting firm -- argued that it had no policy in place pre-pandemic for paying rent and that, as a result, they should not be under obligation to do so. The court, however, didn't agree and ruled that the company pay. 

The judges reportedly estimated a monthly payment of $154 for each employee, also allowing them to request retroactive compensation. 

"Law obliges employers to reimburse their employees for all expenses incurred to carry out their work," Professor of labor law at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland Thomas Geiser told the paper, noting that the verdict wasn't all that surprising but would only apply to those required to work from home by their employer. 

Though it doesn't seem any companies in the US have gone so far, many have introduced their own perks. Facebook is allowing its employees to work from home forever, should they choose. Meanwhile, Google is giving its own staffers $1,000 for work from home essentials. 

"Because we still expect that most Googlers will be largely working from home for the rest of this year, we'll be giving each Googler an allowance of $1,000 USD, or the equivalent value in your country, to expense necessary equipment and office furniture," CEO Sundar Pichai said in a statement

h/tTravel & Leisure

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.