U.S. employees spend $51 daily when they work full-time in office, study says

Employees in the U.S. who have returned to the office full-time are paying a lot to get there, a new study says.

The annual “State of Work” report, conducted by videoconferencing company Owl Labs, found that about 66% of employees nationwide have returned to the office five days a week, or full-time, but spend $51 per day when they work in person.

Researchers found that, on average, people spend:

  • $16 on lunch
  • $14 on commuting
  • $13 on breakfast and coffee
  • $8 on parking

On average, workers with pets spend $20 more monthly than their counterparts, bringing their daily total to $71.

On average, workers who report to the office five days a week spend about $1,020 every month. In comparison, employees who have a hybrid schedule spend $408 a month on office attendance costs, the study found.

“There’s no question” working from the office is “wildly more expensive” today than it was pre-pandemic, Frank Weishaupt, CEO of Owl Labs, told CNBC.

To combat the financial impact of working in person, employees are asking their employers for more perks and incentives like higher pay to cover commute expenses, better work/life balance and better career opportunities, among other things.

Should a company not budge on any policy changes, about 4% of workers surveyed said they would quit their job, while 42% said they would look for another job with more flexibility in where and when they worked, according to the report.

Researchers surveyed 2,000 full-time workers nationwide for the study, with 52% of the respondents being male and 48% being female. The data was collected in June.

The complete report can be viewed here.

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