A nationwide survey shows 73% of British workers are better off financially since lockdown
Back in August, we conducted a survey with Censuswide of 1,000 people working from home during the COVID-19 lockdown. A host of questions were asked including whether respondents have been better off financially to when they think they’ll be returning to the office and if their employers will adapt to more flexible working hours.
Overall, a staggering 73% said that they have been better off financially because of lockdown. To break this down further, almost 60% said they saved by not going out as much, 50% saved by not having to commute into work and nearly 30% claimed to have saved by making their lunches at home. These savings were made across different industries with 90% of those in Finance reporting saving. However, 65% of key workers (retail, builders and manual labourers) even claimed to have saved even though they still had to commute into work.
One of the statistics that stood out to us was how many people reported savings by making their own lunches. This got us thinking about what the average worker spends on lunches a day. According to a survey by NPD1, we spend on average £3.56 a day on out-of-home lunches. So, over lockdown, we have saved £820 each by making our own lunches. Consequently, during lockdown, British workers have collectively saved an astounding £8.1bn by not eating lunch out. Luckily, this saving spree has been extended even as lockdown eases with the help of government schemes like Eat Out to Help Out. It’s no surprise then that 35% of respondents cite not wanting to go back to ‘normal’ life because of their ability to save money.
Similarly, respondents also saved by not commuting into work. According to Lloyds Bank3, the average worker spends almost £800 a year on transport, therefore, So, one in two people saved by working from home, eliminating these hefty commuting costs.
Unfortunately, this saving streak is coming to an end, especially as government incentives like furlough and Eat Out to Help Out end. What’s more, rail prices are set in increase by 1.6% from January, whilst the congestion charge in London has already risen from £11.50 to £15. So, it seems these savings are necessary to help us get through the next few months.
Alas, it is not all doom and gloom – there are still ways we can save as lockdown eases! The survey found that 30% of respondents believe they won’t be back in the office until 2021, and a further 75% think their employer will allow more flexible working hours meaning we could be working from home more in the future, allowing us to continue saving in a similar way.
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For the data set, click here
2Days in lockdown: 103 (23 March 2020 – 04 July 2020) = 15 weeks
15 weeks x 5 (working days) = 75 weekdays in lockdown
Average out of home lunch: £3.56 (Source: NPD – http://www.npdgroup.co.uk/wps/portal/npd/uk/news/press-releases/britains-over-50s-have-growing-appetite-for-eating-lunch-out/)
Number of workers in the UK: 30,500,000 (Source: ONS – http://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/businessregisterandemploymentsurveybresprovisionalresults/2018)
Total Savings = £3.56 x 75 x 30,500,000 = £8,143,500,000
3Source: Lloyds Bank ( https://www.lloydsbankinggroup.com/Media/Press-Releases/2019-press-releases/lloyds-bank/british-workers-spend-492-days-of-their-lives-travelling-into-work/#:~:text=British%20workers%20are%20spending%20over,new%20research%20by%20Lloyds%20Bank.)