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Officer workers costs can add up to £40,000 over their career

Published: 10/01/2017 by Comments

Officer workers costs can add up to £40,000 over their career

Office workers can expect to spend around £40,000 over their lifetime on workplace costs such as teas and coffees, socialising and chipping in to whip-rounds for colleagues, research suggests.

People who have decided on a career in an office may spend approximately £40,000 on costs associated with the workplace, over an average career span.  The costs, which can include (but are not limited by) tea, coffee, socialising and drinks for colleagues, are thought to accumulate to significant amounts over time. 

Employees regularly have to find additional funds for everything from office wear to stationary and various parties and gifts over the year.  These costs are thought to accumulate to over £1000 per year – equivalent to £40,000 over a 40 year career.

Nationwide Current Accounts have said that sums like these are equivalent to two years of net salary for the average employee in the UK.

These costs do not incorporate other outgoings such as commuting or buying lunch so the calculations have the potential to rise significantly.

A survey was undertaken by Nationwide which involved researching the ‘work spending’ habits of 2,000 office workers across. While it appears that men are less happy to spend at work, women feel more compelled to hand over their cash for work related reasons.

According to the research 42% of men did not feel positive about spending their money on Christmas party costs, whereas only 34% of women felt the same way.
It appears that 20% of women feel obliged to spend at Christmas parties whereas only 12% of men feel the same way.  In the category of gift buying (for birthdays and leaving presents) just over a quarter of men and women felt pressure to input their cash – with nearly 32% of employees feeling a similar pressure in the instance of colleague charity fundraisers.  It appears that around 10% of office workers socialise with each other every week and 35% prefer to limit working relationships purely to the office.

Nationwide’s Head of External Affairs, Alan Oliver explains: “Working in an office can be an expensive business, especially in big teams. While most people value the camaraderie of working in a team, birthdays, retirements and charity fundraisers can take their toll on our wallets and purses.”

In a category breakdown of costs associated with office work, produced by the Nationwide Current Account Research, the following findings were revealed:

• Leaving presents and cards for colleagues, £50.28
• Comfort items (such as tissues, tablets, anti-bacterial wipes and sprays) £49.68
• Colleagues’ weddings, £47.04
• Charity/sponsorship requests, £44.64
• Births of colleagues’ children, £43.92
• Secret Santa, £41.88
• Stationery, £41.04
• Clothes and bags, £119.16
• Drinks and nights out with colleagues, £102.24
• Christmas parties and dinners, £96.48
• Birthday cards and presents for colleagues, £66.60
• Coffees and teas, £66.36
• Sweets and treats, £64.32
• Technology (such as a tablet, phone, calculator), £58.32
• Other equipment (such as pens and highlighters), £38.04
• Retirements, £39.24
• Bereavements, £33.96
Total: £1,003.20


Colette Lamb
News article by:
Colette Lamb

A business sector writer with over 15 years of experience working in the marketing, commerce and law sectors' internationally and in the UK. Interests include composing music and other creative communications such as art and dance therapy.



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