The surprising figures behind a lifetime of work
Based on the average UK salary, each UK worker will end up a millionaire – but not in one go. A lifetime’s wages add up to £1,260,720 – enough to fill just a suitcase in £50 notes. Of this, over quarter of a million (£252,144) will be taken in taxes – more than the average UK house price (£234,794) for 2017.
These findings, from CIPD course providers DPG are based on an analysis of the average UK worker and the various facts and figures that apply to an entire working life.
The average employee will spend a total of 82,068 hours working over their lifetime, the equivalent to working a 9.4 year shift or 3,420 days of non-stop working.
Over that time, the average employee will get just 4% more time with their partner or family than they do their work colleagues.
Work lunches also add up to extraordinary levels, with a life of packed lunches setting an employee back £14,746. This pales in comparison to the eyewatering cost of a supermarket meal deal, however, which is 138% more expensive than a packed lunch at a £35,110 lifetime cost. Stacking all those sandwiches (585 loaves worth) would reach 409 metres high – 92% the height of the Empire State Building.
DPG’s analysis also found that the average UK worker will:
- Drink 28,088 cups of coffee over their working life. That’s 9,830 litres or, to give it some scale, 40 wheelie bins.
- Spend 2,909 hours on the toilet at work
- Smokers will spend 317 days smoking non-stop (if you add up their 45,643 breaks)
- Spend 10,086 hours procrastinating
- 3 years and 6 months on holiday
- Drive 218,150 miles, which will cost £19,444 in fuel and get you 91.3% of the way to the moon. A lifetime of commuting would also amount to a 15-month nonstop journey.
- Spend 1.7% of your working life off sick – or 199 days.
A spokesperson said “We also found that the average worker will spend 582 hours waiting for the kettle to boil over their working life. This may seem like a lot, but we mustn’t lose sight of the benefits that regular breaks can have on productivity. Sometimes a few minutes away from the desk can work wonders for clearing the mind and returning to a task with a renewed energy.
“The fact that you only spend 4% less time at work than you do at home just goes to highlight how important it is to create a positive work environment. Management and HR hold the power to make this significant proportion of our lives as productive and enjoyable as possible, which is why it’s important they’re equipped to make this happen. That’s why our courses can have such an impact on a business, right down to the individual.”