The shocking amount of cash employees spend a year at work revealed

The shocking amount of cash employees spend a year at work revealed

UK office workers will spend around £350 a year on daily office duties including tea runs, gifts for colleagues and Christmas parties, new research reveals.

Over the course of a 40-year career, the average cost to a British office worker is more than £14,000 when combining the costs of caffeinated drinks, cards and gifts, Christmas parties and sponsoring fundraising co-workers.

The survey on 2,000 office workers across the UK by Nationwide Current Account, found that the price spiked to over £1,000 a year, when including office clothing and parties and nights out with colleagues. This totalled to £40,000 over the course of a 40-year working life.

Over a quarter of those surveyed said they felt pressure to contribute towards colleague’s birthdays (28%) and leaving gifts (27%), and nearly a third (32%) felt pressure to give money towards helping colleagues’ charity fundraising pursuits.

Two-fifths (42%) of men resented spending money on work Christmas parties, compared with 34% of women, whilst one in five women said they felt under pressure to spend money at Christmas parties, compared with just 12% of men – The Guardian reports.

35% of office workers admitted that they did not like to socialise with their colleagues after work, whilst one in ten spent time with their colleagues outside working hours on a weekly basis.

Alan Oliver, Nationwide’s Head of External Affairs, comments: “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.”

A breakdown of annual expenditures can be seen below:

  • 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
  • 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
  • Other equipment (such as pens and highlighters) - £38.04
  • Retirements - £39.24
  • Bereavements - £33.96

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