Nationwide survey shows 73% of British workers are better off financially since lockdown. A staggering two thirds of British workers have been better off financially since lockdown, a survey commissioned by Eskenzi PR has found. Of over the 1000 people surveyed, 30% said they saved on lunches by working from home, 60% of people saved money by not going out, and 50% saved on commuting costs.
The study also found that almost 90% of those employed in the financial sector reported savings. Similarly, those in IT, Legal, HR and Education also managed to increase their savings during the months of lockdown. Even key workers were able to save, despite still having to commute to work. In fact, 65% of retail workers, builders and manual labourers reported being better off financially since March 2020.
Food has been a big contributor, with 30% of respondents citing this as one of the main reasons they were able to save money. Workers managed to save an average of £820 over the 6-month lockdown period just by making lunch at home – based on the average cost of eating out at lunch of £3.56¹, Monday to Friday – resulting in an overwhelming £8.1bn saved on out-of-home lunches nationwide². In addition to this, government schemes such as Eat Out to Help Out contributed to some tasty savings. These financial benefits have led 35% of respondents to cite their ability to save by working from home as one of the reasons why they are not looking forward to returning to office life.
What’s more, the average worker typically spends almost £800 a year on transport, according to Lloyds Bank. This survey found that one in two people were able to save money by working from home by eliminating hefty travel costs.
Unfortunately, some may struggle to continue this saving streak as Government incentives come to an end. With the furlough scheme and the popular Eat Out to Help Out initiative ending, it has become more difficult but necessary to save. From January 2021 rail prices will also be increasing by 1.6%, while the congestion charge in London has already risen to £15, meaning that annual travel expenditure will increase making it more difficult to save if people return to the office.
Although we may be coming out of lockdown and spending is increasing, there are still ways you can maintain savings. The Eskenzi PR survey found that 30% of respondents believed they won’t be back in the office until 2021, and 75% reported that their employers will allow flexible working, enabling these saving patterns to continue.
“Eskenzi PR’s survey shows that workers aren’t keen to rush back to work full time with saving costs by not commuting and buying lunches being a major factor. However, for 40% they’re ready to go back to work for 2 to 3 days a week” says Yvonne Eskenzi, Co-founder of Eskenzi PR. “It all comes down to the employers now – will most of them allow their staff the freedom to work flexibility? My gut feeling as the Director of an international PR agency, is that it’s going to happen whether employers like it or not as a revolution has happened right under our noses.”
²Calculations for sandwich savings:
Days 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 – https://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 – https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/businessregisterandemploymentsurveybresprovisionalresults/2018)
Total savings: £3.56 x 75 x 30,500,000 = £8,143,500,0000