04 Oct 2022

Working from the office or home – Which is cheaper?

Working from the office or home – is it cheaper?

Since the pandemic many people are splitting their time between working at home and in the office and research from the CIPD highlights that three-quarters of organisations have embraced hybrid working through a mix of formal and informal arrangements[i].

They also found that two fifths (44%) of organisations said there were no minimum expectations to come in but where staff are expected in the workplace each week, it’s typically for a minimum of two days (34%) or three days (32%).

Working more flexibly brings many benefits for employees including better work life balance and less commuting, and for employers increased employee efficiency and productivity.

But is working at home or the office cheaper?

On the surface, working from home could seem like a cheaper option but now energy bills have rocketed this might not be the case.

Even with the price cap announced by Prime Minister Liz Truss, and the £400 everybody will receive off their electricity bills, winter energy costs will be a major concern, especially for those at home all day.

Uswitch suggests that remote workers typically use 75% more gas per day over the winter months and 25% more electricity than those who spend five days a week in the office[ii].

As we head into winter we could see more workers opting to spend more days in the office. Research by MoneySupermarket.com suggests that 14% of Britons plan to spend more time working from the office to reduce home energy bills, rising to nearly a quarter (23%) among 18-24 year olds.

But there are costs associated with going into the office too such as commuting costs with both public transport and driving which are not cheap options these days. Buying a coffee and lunch every day and having a smart work wardrobe, as well as getting involved in things like after work drinks and outings can all add up.

These costs of course could be kept to minimum by taking a flask of coffee for the commute, making lunch every day, having a capsule work wardrobe and limiting work outings but most people tend not to be that disciplined and there is temptation to overspend each month.

On balance it comes down to personal preference and choice over which working location is going to work out better financially as many of the costs for both options can be managed.

Our suite of HR solutions can help companies manage employees no matter where they are working including managing absenteeism, appraisals and timesheets. For more information visit www.activpeoplehr.co.uk

[i] https://www.cipd.co.uk/about/media/press/270622-cipd-hybrid-working-splits-employers#gref

[ii] https://www.itv.com/news/2022-09-01/have-soaring-energy-bills-made-working-from-home-more-expensive-than-the-office