A staggering 69 percent of office workers who can work from home say their employers are not planning to provide financial support related to utility costs for workers.

Also, younger staff reconsider office life due to cost of living budget concerns, according to new research by Emburse.

Almost a quarter (23%) of under 35s who can work from home say they would consider coming into the office more due to rising energy prices.

More than four in 10 (42%) of GB office workers would choose utilities support over fully expensed commute costs.


Rising utility costs: how will working patterns change?

The data showed that 63 percent of respondents spend three days or more working from home.

Overall, 17 percent of those surveyed said their working preferences between the office and home may need to change as a direct result of rising living costs.

Peter Smith, Director of Policy and Advocacy at National Energy Action said: “As energy bills rise from October and again in January, we are going to see more and more workers thinking about how they can spend as little as possible on energy. They will look for warmth in other places, such as a library or going into work when they would normally work from home. The UK government urgently needs to upgrade its energy bill support package to protect those on the lowest incomes from cost-of-living emergency across the board.”


Working patterns will vary from company to company

The likelihood of employees saying their employer will help with utilities bills lowers as the company size increases. 

Microbusinesses (10 or fewer employees) are more than twice as likely as large businesses to provide support for utility bills (14% vs 6%).

Also, a further 8 percent of both sizes of business planning to add support in future.

Kenny Eon, GM and SVP, EMEA at Emburse commented: “There is clearly a growing concern amongst home-based employees about the cost of keeping the heating on during the work week. Only 9 percent of the people we surveyed are receiving support from their employers to pay for their utility bills, with just another 7 percent saying that their employers are planning to provide support. This is particularly impacting younger employees, and almost a quarter of them have said that they are likely to return to the office as a result of skyrocketing bills. Spending more time at the office may not be the preferred option for all employees. But when you add the financial benefit of doing so to the culture and collaboration benefits that many employees experience, this could provide a more compelling reason for employees to return to the office.”






Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.