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Lockdown homeworkers save £1,400 on commuting costs

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Brits working from home due to lockdown have saved an average of £126 per month on commuting – equivalent to £1,386 – since the first lockdown begun in March 2020.

Roughly a third of Brits have been working exclusively from home since the first lockdown. With the government roadmap revealing the return to work for many by June, temporary homeworkers stand to save a further £378 on average on travel during March, April and May.

The figures are from MoneySupermarket which calculated that employees who continue working from home two days a week after lockdown ends could save £48 a month (£576 a year) on future travel costs.

Top commuting saving cities

While the nationwide average monthly commute saving has been £126 per month, people living in certain areas have saved much more.

Residents of London and Oxford have saved the most at £164 per month, or £1,804 over the past 12 months.

People living in Chelmsford have saved an estimated £1,749 over the past year, and those in Southampton £1,529.

According to Moneysupermarket.com research, two thirds (65%) of workers will go into the office fewer days a week, and a third (31%) will walk more of their journey, one the economy re-opens.

Nearly a fifth (16%) will cycle to work to cut costs, and a tenth (11%) intend to use an e-scooter for part of their journey. A further tenth (9%) plan to run part of their journey.

Brighton (34%) and York (33%) have the highest proportion of residents that will cycle more, while Birmingham looks set to become the nation’s e-scooter capital. A fifth (22%) of those seeking to reduce commuting costs in Britain’s second city have bought an e-scooter – 6% more than in London (16%).

However, e-scooters are currently illegal on public roads, cycle paths and pavements, with riders facing a £300 fine and six points on their driving licence if caught.

Residents of Newcastle (49%) and Liverpool (46%) lead the way when it comes to walking.

Extra costs working from home

However, although working from home saves on commuting costs, homeworkers incur some extra costs.

Research by Finder.com suggests that work from home Brits could have seen their energy bills increase by £52 per month while working from home, and broadband bills increase by £25 a month.

However, the savings associated with working from home appear to offset these costs.

Moneysupermarket calculated that with commuting savings at an average of £126 per month and workers saving up to £40 per month on lunch, Brits net an average saving of £89 per month by working from home.

Emma Harvey, money expert at MoneySupermarket, said: “While working from home comes with its own pressures, many office workers have enjoyed substantial reductions in their monthly commuting costs and on associated spending like lunch.

“As businesses re-open over the spring and summer, the next few months represents a great opportunity to take advantage of those savings. For those of us moving to flexible working post lockdown, further savings will also be possible – two days a week at home could save the average commuter nearly £50 per month. That’s money you could stash away, or treat yourself to a nice lunch with when you are in the office.

“A lot of us are committed to keeping travel costs down once the economy re-opens fully later this year. Even though many people plan to build more walking and cycling into their daily commute, it’s rare to see such a high proportion of Brits opting for e-scooters – a clear sign that this relatively new mode of transport is here to stay and no passing fad.”