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

Read More

Will these jobs be obsolete in 2027?

With the rise of technology and automated jobs, employees...

HR Grapevine
HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd
Storm Doris causes commuter chaos, raising questions on remote working

Cold snaps, storms and floods cost the UK billions...

HR Grapevine
HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd
0:45
77% of staff don't consult HR before an office romance

It is human instinct to warm to individuals we get...

HR Grapevine
HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd
Boss leaves tongue-in-cheek note for staff before going on holiday

'Don't call me unless the store has burned down,...

HR Grapevine
HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd
Inspirational firm fundraises to send sick girl to Disneyland

Inspirational staff at recruitment firm Barrington...

HR Grapevine
HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd
First of its kind 'outstanding' hospital praised for teamwork

Failing organisations are difficult to turn around....

HR Grapevine
HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd

Guide to Outplacement and Career Transition

Guide to Outplacement and Career Transition 2016

Related Insights

Register for FREE access.

* By registering you agree that you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions and that Executive Grapevine International Ltd and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content and products.
HR Grapevine Magazine Latest Issue

Magazine Features