How much money do employees really spend at work?

No good deed: A third of employees really dislike having to contribute to obligatory office charity drives. 

The average employee spends nearly S$2,000 at the workplace or on work-related items each year.

And most of the time, it is because people feel social pressure to spend money on keeping their colleagues happy, according to a new poll from UK mortgage provider Nationwide.  

In the UK, the cost of working in an office – from company-driven charity donations, buying birthday cards for colleagues, to work nights out with co-workers – leaves the average worker £1,000 (S$1,750) poorer each year.

Despite the holiday season being out of the way for another year, going back to work is unlikely to mean to the end of people’s spending.

The poll found that the average office worker is likely to spend this amount each year due to office life – and that’s not including breakfast, lunch or travel.

Across a 40-year career, this would equate to £40,128, or a whopping S$70,000!

Of all the things employees spend on, the majority are most unhappy about having to pay for any stationery (70%), with coffees and teas (41%) coming in second.

Surprisingly, doing a good deed ranks low on people’s wishes as well.

When it comes to the obligatory office charity or fundraising effort, more than a third don’t like to contribute. But with nearly a third (32%) stating they felt pressured into contributing, common courtesy seem to override actual feelings.

One in ten people spend time with their colleagues outside of working hours on a weekly basis. But 35% of the nation’s office workers claim to not like going out after work, with two in five saying they don’t do it more than once every two to three months.

The survey also reveals a list of things workers spend on most each year: 

 Clothes and bags


 Drinks / nights out (e.g. after work) with colleagues


 Christmas parties / lunch / dinner


 Birthdays (cards / presents)


 Coffee / tea


 Sweets / treats


 Technology (e.g. tablet, phone, mouse, calculator)


 Colleague leaving present / card 



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