As Winter Bites, Employers Need to Cover Working From Home Costs
Employees are questioning whether they should be footing all their energy bills
It was in the summer months that Gareth* first realized that the working from home boon came at a cost. Despite living in a small one-bedroom flat, the SEO manager’s electricity bills had more than doubled. “I knew my usage would increase by a fair bit but certainly not to the level I discovered,” he said. “My monthly savings have had to be sacrificed – it’s hugely frustrating.”
Like millions around the country, Gareth’s kitchen table has become his workstation. Three-quarters of his waking day, previously whiled away on commuter trains and inside an east London office, is now nearly entirely spent in the home. His laptop and second monitor are plugged in for eight hours straight. His phone charger lives inside the mains, ready to go around the clock. His kettle is called upon morning, noon and night.
With much of the workforce based at home, it’s little wonder that the nation’s bills have been mounting: the average household now has 12 connected devices, a hike of 17 percent since lockdown. But it’s now, as the nights draw in and the autumnal winds howl, that our work from home costs are set to summit – research has indicated that the collective climb in energy bills will be nearly £2 billion this winter. The typical full-time remote worker's total bill by spring next year will have grown by nearly 18 percent, and likely to cost more than £700.
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