Employee Engagement

Research into how much having a job costs has found that working in the UK could cost you an average of £1,623 a year in work-related expenses.

Calculated by giffgaff gameplan the figure was reached by surveying 2,000 UK office workers about their workplace expenditures. As a result, the average Brit was found to spend the following amounts every year thanks to their job:

  • Commuting – £833.63
  • Lunch – £417.42
  • Snacks and drinks – £217.14
  • Clothing/uniform – £108.61
  • Workplace presents (birthdays/leaving etc.) – £28.55
  • Charitable donations/sponsoring colleagues – £18.06

When projected over a 40 year working life, this equates to £64,936.40 – or more than twice the current average UK annual salary.

Respondents were also polled about which expenses they were most unhappy about paying for. Commuting easily topped essential expenses with 30% of the vote. When asked about non-essential costs, charitable causes were the biggest sticking point, with a quarter of people unhappy about opening their wallets.

Over half (54%) of people felt overly pressured into contributing towards workplace gifts, with women (62%) feeling notably more pressured than men (46%).

There was a strong opinion that work-related social events should be subsidised, as 55% of people believe it is their employer’s responsibility to cover these costs.

Nicola Vidal, Head of Commerce at giffgaff gameplan, commented on the research and what workers can do to cut down on spending: “When budgeting your personal finances, workplace expenses can often be difficult to project. Keeping costs down is a matter of patience and, just like the costs themselves, saving start small but really show over time.

“Try car-sharing with a group of co-workers, batch cooking lunches you can microwave at work, and switching to glasses of water rather than cups of coffee throughout the day. Even simply cutting your snack spending in half could save you around £4,300 over your career.”

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