When Covid lockdowns and the boom of the working from home phenomenon occurred, one of the side effects that previous office-based workers benefited from was reduced commuting costs. With WFH during lockdown, those who were ‘fortunate’ enough to be able to continue working remotely, found they had more cash in their pockets from no commuting costs, lower costs on eating out, work wardrobes etc.
Recruitment agencies in London have found that many of those benefits have remained with the hybrid model of working that many office-based employees are now part of. However, with winter approaching, with energy bills higher than ever, and notably much, much higher than last winter, are those saving enough? And are people worried enough about energy costs that they would actually prefer to be back in the office to save having to turn the heating on?
This winter is starkly different to that first lockdown when we basked in glorious sunshine and could forget that heating, blankets and jumpers were ever needed.
Personal sums need to be done
The reality is, whether it pays most to work in the office or work from home will depend on a number of individual factors. For many in office support jobs in London, the cost of commuting is high, and the pull to buy expensive coffees and lunches is culturally high too. As such, even with increased energy costs, you may still find you are better off working some of the time from home. It depends on your WFH arrangements, and the individual cost and ease of heating your working area at home. Furthermore, WFH may mean you need to pay for fewer childcare hours.
However, when you add up the sums, you may find that it’s more cost-effective for you to work in the office, especially because heating and electricity will be covered for you. So, it’s a very personal calculation.
There are also ways in which you can improve the heating and energy costs involved with working from home. You could switch off all radiators except in the room you are working in and keep the door closed, for example. And there are ways of reducing the costs of going to the office, such as carpooling, or taking lunch from home.
But if you are more than a little worried, and there doesn’t seem any good enough solution – either changes to working from home, or changes to our office days - then you still don’t need to panic. While things will be getting harder in the job market, they are still extremely candidate friendly. Now is actually an excellent time to move jobs, driven by a need for a higher salary, to help you through the coming winter with the energy crisis and cost of living crisis combined.
We’re here to help
Many employers are already considering ways in which they can help both office-based and WFH employees with the increasing costs they face over the next few months. Some are increasing their contributions to home electricity use and some are offering travel support schemes for commuting. Employers also need to be aware of the motivating factors for why people choose between WFH and office working, and why finances play a part.
If you would like to change jobs to improve your salary then please, send us your CV and we can help.
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