Working in an office could cost you almost £2K a year

6 January 2020, 14:34

Office workers could fork out two years' salary in the space of a lifetime
Office workers could fork out two years' salary in the space of a lifetime. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Office workers could fork out as much as £1,715 a year on expenses before even taking into account lunch and transport.

The cost of working in an office for 40 years could amount to around £68,600, research has found.

This equates to more than two years' take-home pay, based on the UK average salary of £30,420.

Nationwide Building Society spoke with more than 2,000 office staff about their typical spending habits for expenses such as clothing, technology, work parties and gifts for colleagues.

The data found drinks, parties and nights out to be the biggest annual expense, with officer workers spending an average of £292.32.

Expenditure on work clothes amounted to more than £150, with technology, sweets, treats and spending on colleagues' birthdays all costing over £100 each.

Helping co-workers with charity and sponsorship requests also featured, costing people £91.20.

Other expenses, including stationery, leaving cards and wedding gifts, brought the total up to £1,715.52.

Coffees and teas can cost £114.96 a year
Coffees and teas can cost £114.96 a year. Picture: PA

The survey also found workers to be resentful about the amount of cash they are expected to fork out.

One in six do not like spending money on charity requests from colleagues, and nearly 25 per cent feel pressurised into financially contributing when co-workers come asking.

Men were found to be more likely to borrow money from their colleagues, however one in 10 people admitted to not paying the money back. The most guilty age group for this were 16-24-year-olds.

Many of those surveyed considered their work colleagues their friends, with a majority saying they would go out with their co-workers after a shift.

Guy Simmonds, head of current account customer management at Nationwide, said it was "unsurprising" that we pay out so much when working in offices.

"Enjoying the camaraderie of working in a team can put pressure on the purse strings throughout the year, which is why it is important not to feel pressured and only put in what you can afford," he said.

"We would recommend putting some money aside each pay day to ensure you have enough for yourself before you have to deal with the myriad of birthdays, charity requests, coffee rounds and nights out."