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Annie Hayes



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Work costs Brits £170k


Shock findings show that British workers are spending 15% of their average annual salary on work-related expenses including travel, lunch and clothes; a cost that equates to almost £170k over each worker’s lifetime.

The research, commissioned by retail sandwich chain Benjys, shows that of the 500 workers quizzed, the majority are spending the equivalent of the average cost of a house over the course of their careers on work-related expenses including commuting, clothes, accessories and food and drink.

Average annual costs of an 18-45 year old office worker are:

  • Travel – £1054.08

  • Lunch – £794.40

  • Work clothes – £620.28

  • Work accessories – £431.76

  • Breakfast – £352.80

  • Drinks (like coffee) – £321.60

  • Reading material such as newspapers – £110.40

  • Snacks – £100.80

Total – £3786.12

The findings give fresh evidence that Britain’s long-hours culture is having an impact on worker’s pockets. Recently the Trades Union Congress claimed that workers are doing themselves out of pay; on average, they say that employees who work unpaid overtime should earn £4,650 for hours worked over and above their contracted obligations.

Lost earnings for unpaid overtime on top of these work-related expenses are stacking up and workers admit to being fed up that their loyalty is not even being rewarded by the chance to take a lunch break.

Failure to allocate time for eating a wholesome meal at midday, however, isn’t just having a toll on stress levels.

Earlier this week, HRZone reported that skipping lunch is making us fatter as more and more reach for sugary snacks to plug the hunger gap.

In reaction to the findings, Benjys are launching a SmartCart enabling workers to pre-charge their card at the beginning of the month to ease budgeting.

Ian Rickwood, CEO of Benjys SmartCard commented: “The Benjys SmartCard will finally put an end to queuing for lunch, save customers money and reduce workers stress levels during the day. We’re astounded at the hidden costs associated with working life and wanted to do something to help our customers.”

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Annie Hayes


Read more from Annie Hayes