Category Archives for "Business"

Working from Home – Why it can be Advantageous for Employers

By Randall Orser | Business , Cloud-computing , Employees , Small Business

If your boss is on the fence about allowing you to work from home a compelling study from Stanford economics professor Nicholas Bloom was featured in an article by Ari Surdoval in Ideas.Ted.Com showed that it can be very advantageous especially for employers. 

When most people imagine working from home they see someone in their pajamas watching Netflix on their laptop.   They believe that working from home can be shirking from home.  Professor Bloom had previously worked from home himself and knew that it was becoming more and more common around the world, so he believed that there had to be more to it than just watching Netflix.  

In the US the number of people working from home has tripled over the past 30 years and was 2.4% of the workforce in 2017.  In countries where mobile technology and improving digital connections have coincided with traffic congestion and sky high commercial rents between 10 and 20% of employees work from home for at least part of their work week.  This was true of the company Bloom used for his controlled trial to put remote work to the test.  The company was one of China's largest travel agencies with a workforce of 16,000.  The company CEO recognized that the company was losing many employees in part due to workers being priced out of the city of Shanghai and having to endure long commutes.

More than 500 employees in the call centre volunteered, about half met the study qualifications which included having a private room at home in which to work and a decent broadband connection as well has having been an employee for six months.  Those with even numbered birthdays would telecommute four days a week while the others would remain in the office as a control group.  Company managers were concerned that as the call centre workers were among the youngest in the company they might be easily distracted without supervision.  

The study lasted for nine months and the results stunned Bloom and the CEO.  The company saved $1900 per employee on office space during the study


Thinking About a Business Partnership in Canada?

By Randall Orser | Business , Business Income Taxes , Partnerships

Are you considering entering into a business partnership?  A business partnership is one or more legal entities such as individuals, corporations, trusts or partnerships pooling their resources to operate a shared business.  The resources that each partner brings to the partnership does not have to be financial, it can be also be skills, labour, or property.  Although all partners will share the risk in the partnership they may or may not equally share the business profits, losses or liability, each person’s share is determined by the partnership agreement that is drawn up.  The amount of liability for each partner will depend upon the type of partnership which is created.

There are three types of partnerships available in Canada:

GENERAL PARTNERSHIP - This is the most common type and is defined as a business arrangement between one or more individuals who share the profits and liabilities of the business.  In this type of partnership all partners are fully liable for the debts, contractual obligations and torts resulting from the business operations and all can be personally sued for something that happens in the business.

LIMITED PARTNERSHIP - This is a partnership of one or more general partners who have unlimited liability and one or more partners with limited liability depending on their contribution to the business.  Limited partnerships are often set up with a corporation as the general partner and the individuals as limited partners.  A limited partner can also be a “silent” partner where they contribute financially and may provide advice, but they are not otherwise involved in the business.

LIMITED LIABILITY PARTNERSHIP – This gives the partners more protection than if they were general partners. For example, if a client wanted to sue the partnership only the partner who had worked with the client would have assets at risk.  Most provinces only allow Limited Liability partnerships in high-risk professional businesses such as lawyers, accountants or doctors where there is little overlap in the everyday business of each partner, and the protection provided varies between provinces.  Here is the link to the partnership act in BC. http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/96348_01

For tax purposes partnerships are treated like sole proprietorships.  Each partner reports their own income and pays tax on their personal tax return, and reports profits and losses accordingly.

No matter which type of partnership you are considering, a written partnership agreement is a must so that all participants understand what is involved in the partnership.  

From an article by Susan Ward