New study reveals that Brits are spending £9.41 per day working remotely

28/03/2024

A new study by the small business experts at Bionic wanted to find out how much working from home adds to your bills in the UK and how to reduce these costs, to maximise the savings made. To do this they have crunched the numbers looking at wifi, electricity, and water – even down to the cost of boiling the kettle on your tea break.

1 in 4 UK workers now work a hybrid workweek, with 78% of remote workers reporting an improved work-life balance – however, what is the price we pay for this?

With over 513,000 online searches in the past month alone and a 45% increase in the past year for “remote jobs” and related terms, the interest in working from home and all of the benefits that come with it is growing. A user on X (formally Twitter) summarised the perks that they have experienced working from home, saying,  “No traffic jams, no gas expenses, just me and my cosy home office! Saving money and time on the daily commute feels like hitting the jackpot! ”.

However, while train fare expenditures are being saved by skipping the commute, it is important to be aware of the charges incurred that your employer would pay if you were in the office. This goes as far as warming up your lunch, using the lights, and even just boiling the kettle. Being aware of these costs, will make budgeting and saving even more efficient for remote workers.

How much does it cost to work from home?

The study discovered that working from home costs on average £9.41 a day and £47.07 per week. This includes what you spend on energy, water and WiFi. Compared with commuting, which costs  £19.10 per day in the UK, there are plenty of savings to be made and maximised. 

The average cost for hybrid employees working in the UK for three days in an office, and two from home, is £76.12 a week. This works out to be £19.36 cheaper than if you were commuting into the office full-time (£95.48). 

WFH is increasing your energy bills £41.28 per week

Energy usage is the main increased expense when working from home, as the costs span further than the essential expenses. Running a desktop computer and charging your laptop – additional comforts like boiling the kettle, washing dishes more often, and running a radio in the background contribute to increased bills.

Taking all of this into account, our data shows that running a home office can cost approximately £41.28 per week in energy bills.  

Are you using more water when WFH?

From staying hydrated to running the dishwasher after making lunch, daily activities can increase your water bills when working from home. Our research found that working from home can add £3.88 a week to your water bills.

How much of our WiFi is used on work-related tasks?

WiFi is an essential part of remote working, to stay connected with colleagues and access virtual documents when working outside of the office. Bionic’s research discovered that WiFi usage solely attributed to work costs Brits per year £91.68 a year.

How to reduce your work-from-home costs

  1. Let natural light in – Take full advantage of the hours in the day when natural light is bright enough to light the room. Open up the curtains instead of using artificial lighting throughout the day.
  2. Unplug chargers when not in use – Remember to unplug devices when not in use, as charges continue to draw power even after your device reaches full battery power.
  3. Check if you are eligible for government tax relief for your job expenses – You may be able to claim tax relief for additional household costs if you have to work at home for all or part of the week.
  4. Maximise your utility use – Once you have made your lunch, wait until the dishwasher is full before starting a cycle and only boil the amount of water that you need for a cup of tea.
  5. Adjust your computer settings – You should shut down your computer once you have finished using it for the day and activate sleep mode throughout the day during periods of inactivity.

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