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The Next Return To Office Saviour? Massive Home Energy Bills


Office owners could be a beneficiary of the huge rise in energy bills being faced by British consumers this winter.

The average City of London office worker would spend less commuting into work and using their employer’s heat than heating their own home, calculations from Bloomberg using data from Uswitch found.

The average cost of heating a home could hit £175 a week this winter, as rising gas prices push up energy costs. 

Those commuting via tube to the office could save about £15 a week, Bloomberg calculated. Those commuting via bus could save £35 a week, while those cycling, running or walking to work could save about £50 a week. 

Workers have so far steadfastly declined to come back to the office in anything like the same numbers as before the pandemic. A survey of 50,000 UK office workers undertaken in June and July by consultancy Advanced Work Associates found that people were coming back an average of 1.4 days a week, or 29% of the time. Typical occupancy was more than four days a week before the pandemic.

Even when companies tried to implement a policy of mandatory attendance for three days a week, staff were coming in an average of two days a week, AWA found. 

In a time of high inflation, especially energy prices, warmth could well be an office amenity.

“People are going to be really struggling to heat their own homes and they are going to look for warmth in other places,” National Energy Action Policy Officer Matt Copeland told Bloomberg.