The rise of remote work has revolutionised how we approach our jobs and work-life balance. One of the most tangible benefits of this shift has been the savings in travel costs for those who no longer commute daily. Let’s delve into the specifics of these savings.
For those who drive to work, fuel costs can quickly add up. For example, if you drive 20 miles each way to work and average 35mpg at £1.50 per litre of petrol, you’d be spending £3.90 a day, which is £81.90 a month. Over the UK average of around 231 working days, fuel can cost over £900 a year, not including the parking costs for those whose workplace does not have car parks. And if you travel further, the cost can be far more.
Wear and Tear on Vehicles
Beyond fuel costs, there’s also wear and tear on vehicles. The constant commuting accelerates the need for maintenance tasks such as oil changes, tyre replacements, anti-freeze and brake jobs. According to Nimble Fins, the typical repair and service costs are around £281 per year.
Although it isn't wear and tear, there are also costs such as road tax and insurance, which are part of keeping a vehicle. Many people sell their cars when they work from home because they no longer require its use.
Not everyone drives. Many people in the UK rely on public transport, and depending on the city and home nation, season and monthly train tickets can get very expensive. For example, a monthly ticket from Reading to London, which usually takes around 30 minutes each way, costs £512 per month, according to the Trainline ticket calculator at the time of writing. For 12 month's ticket, it’s a whopping £5340! However, depending on the route and time of travel, you could use a railcard to help keep the costs down. For more information on how to do this, check out our article on saving with railcards.
Buses are different; many routes, fairs, and often smaller distances exist. However, according to GOV.uk, the average single fare for a 3-mile journey is estimated at over £2.80. There are plans to cap it at £2, but it is yet to be implemented. Over 231 working days, you could spend over £1000 on bus fare alone. However, many cities like London have incentives such as Hopper fare, which can save you money if you live within the city boundaries. There are also several other ways to save on bus fares, which you can read about in our article about the best deals on public transport.
Time is Money
While not a direct out-of-pocket cost, valuing our time is essential. If you spend 2 hours commuting daily, that’s around 40 hours each month or 462 hours a year. That’s the equivalent of over 19 full days spent sitting in traffic or on a train, and in an increasingly fast-paced world, this time can be priceless when used with loved ones or simply needed self-care.
Things such as daily coffee, lunches out, or impulse buys because you walked past a store are harder to quantify but still a notable cost of working from an office or away from home. According to The Independent, in 2018, the average UK person spent £303 a year on coffee alone. Given the current economy and cost of living increase, companies such as Coffee Club believe the number could be as high as £500 in 2023.
In addition to caffeinated beverages, parking fees, tolls, and an increased chance of getting ticketed for a road or parking offence can add up to a decent amount of money. Though working from home isn’t possible and your office lunches are eating your budget, we have some helpful tips and tricks on saving money on lunch at work.
This one is an outlier, but it must be included. Sure, it’s not a monetary cost, but money isn’t the be-all and end-all. It’s 2023, and our summers keep getting hotter and our consciences heavier. Working from home and reducing commuting contributes to decreased pollution and traffic congestion and a healthier environment, an environment you have more time to enjoy because you have the extra time and money to do so by working from home.
While exact savings will vary depending on individual circumstances, location and lifestyle, the shift to remote work can save workers thousands of pounds a year with the added benefit of less time spent commuting and less pollution in the air. By working in a hybrid office style, I save around £500 a year on train fare alone, and as a self-proclaimed coffee and baked goods lover, I save a hefty sum from visiting the nearby Greggs less. I also get to spend more time with my dog, enjoy more free time in the daylight in winter months and wear comfy clothing instead of uncomfortable office etiquette as I work. Working from home is a benefit for everyone.
I joined MyVoucherCodes as a Deal Expert, searching the web and sourcing the best deals, discount codes and sales to benefit our readers. I decided to combine these money-saving skills with my love of writing and become an Editor, sharing what I have learned to help you get the most out of your money. As a student for four years, I understand the need to budget and get more for less. As well as providing budget-friendly advice here at MVC, I have written money-saving works for well-known publications such as The Sun and Pick Me Up!
I love playing video games and later writing reviews at GameReport in my spare time. I also enjoy anything to do with technology and cool gadgets, and I'm constantly adding extras and components to my home gaming computer. Additionally, I love DIY. Having worked in a tool store as a student, I enjoy fixing things, whether my car or home.