August 31, 2022
People reconsider working from home in response to rising energy costs
Around two thirds of people who can work from home say their employers aren’t planning to provide financial support related to energy costs and almost a quarter of under 35s currently working from home say they would consider coming into the office more due to rising energy prices. These are the key findings of a YouGov poll from Emburse. A sample of 1,015 British employees were asked a range of questions covering hybrid working patterns and employer financial support in light of the cost of living crisis and increasing utility bills.
The data suggests that the majority (42 percent) of employees would opt for financial support from their employers to cover heating, electricity and mobile phone bills rather than commuting costs (35 percent), indicating employees are still leaning towards WFH life. However, younger employees’ responses suggest that office space was still important to them, with an equal number (42 percent) saying they would prefer a subsidised commute.
- 69 percent of respondents said their employer has never provided financial support related to energy costs and does not plan to do so in the future (base: 529)
- The anticipated financial squeeze is felt by younger workers in particular; almost a quarter (23 percent) of under 35s who can work from home say they would consider coming into the office more due to rising energy prices
- Given the option, a slight majority (42 percent) of workers would choose to expense utilities bills related to working from home, compared with 35 percent opting to expense commuter costs (base: 745)
- The option to expense the commute becomes less popular with age. For Under-35s the figure was 44 percent compared to 26 percent for over-55s.
- The likelihood of employees saying their employer will help with utilities bills lowers as the company size increases. Microbusinesses (10 or fewer employees) are more than twice as likely as large businesses to provide support for utility bills (14 percent vs 6 percent), with a further 8 percent of both sizes of business planning to add support in future
- Overall, 17 percent of those surveyed said their working preferences between the office and home may need to change as a direct result of rising living cost