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Will utility bills force us back into the office?

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Are the trends on working from home about to take another drastic turn? We have all watched how the pandemic turned masses away from going into the office. Working from home became the new norm. But as the day is getting shorter and the temperature outside lower, the electric and gas bills are reaching record breaking numbers. So now, a lot of hybrid workers are asking themselves again- home or office?

What’s there to be considered? When we work from home, we need to keep (part of) the house warm. And, as we all know, the average household utility bill is due to rise from £1971 to £3549 on October 1st (further increase is expected again in January). But let’s think about other hidden costs: plugging in the computer (charger), boiling the kettle 2-3 times a day, using the oven, cooker or microwave to prepare lunch, or even simply going to the bathroom. This all adds up to a hefty bill.

Now, in some cases, where companies signed contracts for hybrid or home working, there may be room for a claim to cover utilities in a home office. But these are usually set amounts, if they’re even an option at all. In most cases we can assume that the employee is required to cover all the increases from their own pocket.

It might just be a matter of time (and weather) before we notice a mass return to the office. And even considering the extra money we have to spend for fuel and transport, time required in traffic, having to wear something other than pyjama bottoms, it appears that the rising utility bills are convincing enough. According to research carried out by Money Super Market in August 2022, 14% of those surveyed indicated that they will work more from the office to reduce the impact of the home working on their utility bill. If we were to look at the 18- to 24-year-olds only, that figure goes up to 23%.

Let’s now think about the employer for a minute. The kettle will be boiling a lot more once the working from home decide to return to their office desks. Someone has to pay that bill. In which case it’s best to look for an all-inclusive and flexible working space. You never know what the next trend will bring.

At New World Business Centre we currently have several offices in different sizes available to move into straight away with only 12 month minimum contract. Why not give us a call to discuss the details. With free parking, high speed internet connection, complimentary teas and coffees (no need to pay extra for boiling the kettle) and cakes every Friday, we might just be what you and your team are looking for. To find out mor, contact us on 01173320900 or complete the contact form online.