Home workers save £144 per week over office workers as significant cost gap emerges

POSTED: 3rd May 2022
IN: Newsroom
  • Over a six-month period of working from home, people will save on average £2,964
  • Significant gap illustrates a growing divide in costs between the 61% of UK adults who have returned to the workplace full time compared to the 16% working exclusively from home
  • The main savings come from not commuting, not going out as much after work during the week and saving on lunches/takeaway coffees
  • UK adults are now on average working over a quarter (27%) of their work week from home, equalling one to two days a week
  • In addition, the pandemic continues to impact the workplace, as those that had been placed on furlough report continued financial stress, with nearly two thirds (63%) saying they need to rebuild towards their pre-pandemic financial situation

New research from Aldermore bank1, asking 4,000 UK adults about their savings habits, reveals that the divide between those returning to the office and those able to work from home is creating a significant savings gap.  

Every little helps

UK adults are finding that even small savings gained by working from home are adding up quickly, and over time are providing big saving rewards. While working from home can come with increased costs, such as higher heating and electricity costs, the costs associated with going to the office can be considerable. The biggest savings include on average £30 per week from not commuting to and from work, £21 on not spending as much on breakfasts and lunches, £23 on not socialising with work colleagues in person, £18 by avoiding takeaway coffees, and £23 on not going out on weekdays after work. All these savings accumulate to an average total of £2,964 over a period of six months working from home.

Saving

Average weekly saving

Average saving over six months

Saved from not commuting as often

£30

£780

Saved on lunches/breakfasts

£21

£546

Saved by not attending work drinks/events/ socialising with colleagues in person

£22

£572

Saved on takeaway coffee/teas

£18

£468

Saved on not going out as much after work during the week

£23

£598

Total

£114

£2,964

 

Flexible working divide

Currently, only a small proportion are able to maximise the cost saving benefits of working from home, while many are experiencing increased costs associated with returning more regularly to their pre-covid places of work. At the moment, only one in six (16%) work from home full time, with one in ten (10%) working one or two days in the workplace, and 13% working three to four days. Three in five (61%) are working zero days at home.

Working from home days

% of UK adults

Work from home entirely 

16%

Work from home 4 days a week

5%

Work from home 3 days a week

5%

Work from home 2 days a week

6%

Work from home 1 days a week

7%

Do not work from home at all

61%

Average

27% (1-2 days a week WFH)

 

Furlough impact continues to cause impact

With one in four employees during the pandemic being placed on furlough2 at some point between March 2020 and June 2021, the economic impact has been considerable. Nearly two in five (38%) UK adults placed on furlough said it had a hugely negative impact on their finances, and 41% say their finances are not yet back to pre-furlough levels. Of those placed on furlough during the pandemic, almost two thirds (63%) say they are actively trying to rebuild their financial situation to what it was pre-pandemic.

Ewan Edwards, director of savings at Aldermore, said: “The pandemic undoubtedly had a significant impact on many people’s finances and, with the increasing cost of living and rising expense of returning to the workplace, many are seeing continued financial strain as we return to normality. It’s a critical time for people to stay engaged with their finances, so if any changes occur to outgoings, this can be managed and planned for.

“Subsequent lockdowns meant many people in the UK focused more on savings, due to lower expenses working from home, but as working circumstances change it’s important to keep up regular savings routines to ensure good long term financial health. Little savings here and there can add up over time to big rewards. Not leaving spare cash dormant in a current account but instead finding a savings account which suits your personal 2022 savings goals will ensure your cash works harder for you.”

Aldermore’s top tips for budgeting:

  1. Set a savings goal – Whether it’s saving for a holiday, a house deposit, or a special occasion, being clear on what you’re saving for will help motivate you to save rather than spend. It’s important to set a timeframe for when you’re aiming to reach your savings goal. Doing so will help you estimate how much you’ll need to set aside each week or month.
  2. Check where your savings are currently being held – Smaller banks generally offer better savings rates than high street giants, so it is worth shopping around. There is value in getting the best rate possible as the compound interest can really add up over time. Utilising different savings products for your various savings goals can be helpful also. Fixed rate accounts typically offer higher interest rates and can be useful when saving for a bigger expense on the horizon and assist in avoiding temptation to withdraw funds early.
  3. Review your monthly expenses regularly – Take a look at your recent bank statements and familiarise yourself with your spending patterns. Calculate all your outgoing expenses and work out how much of your pay you spend on these items. Next, turn your attention to those unnecessary spending habits which you can drop. Small changes, such as occasionally making your own coffee or lunch a few days a week, will add up over time.
  4. Allocate a budget and stick to it – After identifying your necessary outgoings, allocate a monthly budget to spend on socialising, shopping and other activities. Hold yourself accountable and don’t shy away from reviewing your bank balance regularly. Ahead of every week, keep track of how much you’ve spent so far and adjust your budget for the forthcoming weeks based on this.
  5. Review your savings habits regularly – If you’re having difficulty meeting your savings target amount, reduce your monthly contributions to make it more manageable. If you receive a pay rise, a financial gift or find your monthly outgoings are reduced, consider increasing your contributions to achieve your savings goals sooner. Getting into the routine of regularly saving, even if small amounts, is a positive habit to do and it can be surprising how it adds up over time.
  6. Grow a separate emergency fund – While many tend to save with a particular goal in mind, it is important to also consider the unexpected. By growing a ‘rainy day’ or emergency fund, alongside regular savings, you can gain peace of mind that if unexpected costs or any financial difficulties arise then there are funds to help ease the stress of this and, in the cases of for example damage to a car or urgent repairs needed on a home, you’re able to get back to normality more quickly.  

**Ends**

Notes to editors

1Research conducted, on behalf of Aldermore bank, by Opinium, with a sample size of 4,000 UK adults ages +18.

2 ONS furlough data An overview of workers who were furloughed in the UK - Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)

 

  • Savings
  • Press Release
  • Personal Savings