Many people in employment in the UK work in an office - but hidden costs associated with office work could be costing you more than you think.
Lunch and transport are a common extra cost of working in an office, but there are other things that you may be spending money on - and it all adds up.
Are you spending more than you think working in an office?
It’s estimated that working in an office can cost you around £1,715 each a year, after spending on work-related costs, including gifts for colleagues, clothing and parties.
A survey of more than 2,000 office staff by Nationwide Building Society found that the cost of being in an office over a working lifetime of four decades could come to around £68,600.
Workers were asked about how much they typically spent on clothes, technology, work parties, gifts for colleagues and treats.
Out of the £1,715.52 spent every year, the largest amount was drinks, parties and nights out - amounting to £292.32 a year.
Workers also spend a calculated cost of £115 on teas and coffees, with a similar amount being spent on sweets and treats.
Unhappiness over extra costs
However, the survey also revealed that not all workers were happy about the amount of money they were expected to pay for office related activities.
The survey found that one in six do not like spending money on charity requests from colleagues, and nearly a fifth (19 per cent) are unhappy about buying teas and coffees for their colleagues.
Nearly a quarter felt pressurised into contributing financially when co-workers asked, and nearly a third (32 per cent) of office workers have borrowed money from colleagues.
Socialising with colleagues and leaving presents
On the plus side, the survey found that more than half (54 per cent) of office workers are happy to put money in for a colleague’s leaving card or present, and the same percentage (54 per cent) are also happy to contribute when it’s a colleague’s birthday.
Nearly four-fifths (79 per cent) of office workers surveyed said that they go out with colleagues after work, which rose to 87 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds, and 85 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds.
Alongside this, many of those surveyed counted their work colleagues among their friends.
Workers also spend a calculated cost of £115 on teas and coffees, with a similar amount being spent on sweets and treats (Photo: Shutterstock)
‘Only put in what you can afford’
Guy Simmonds, head of current account customer management at Nationwide, said: “On the basis we spend so much time in and out of the office with colleagues, it is perhaps unsurprising that we pay out so much.
“Yet, 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.
“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."
This article was originally published on our sister site, Edinburgh Evening News.