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