Half of workers want to continue working from home due to commute cost

Half of workers want to continue working from home because of rising cost of commuting, survey shows

  • Around half of workers surveyed will stay home due to high cost of commuting
  • Two thirds said their employers should help them with the costs of travelling
  • Some staff may go to the office more in the winter, due to high heating bills

The rising cost of travel has caused many workers to reconsider commuting to the office, although things may change in the winter because of high heating bills, new research suggests.

A survey of 500 UK workers indicated that almost half plan to stay away from offices because of the high cost of commuting.

A study of thousands of employees in several other countries, including the United States, Australia and France, found similar results.

A survey of 500 UK workers indicated that almost half plan to stay away from offices because of the high cost of commuting. File image

Technology firm Citrix said its research indicated that one in four UK workers will return to offices more often in the winter to reduce the cost of heating their home.

Traci Palmer of Citrix said: ‘It’s a classic cost-benefit analysis.

‘Employees have learned they can engage and be just as productive working from home, and as fuel prices continue to increase, they are questioning whether the benefits of being in the office outweigh the time and money associated with commuting.

‘The key to keeping employees engaged and productive lies in creating work-from-anywhere experiences that are seamless, fuel connection and collaboration, and empower people to do their best work, regardless of their location.’

Two thirds of UK workers surveyed said their employers should help them with the costs of travelling to the office.

Two thirds of UK workers surveyed said their employers should help them with the costs of travelling to the office. Above, commuters on the Jubilee line

The Bank of England today delivered a dire warning that inflation will top 10 per cent and the economy is set to go into reverse – as it hiked interest rates again.

Governor Andrew Bailey laid out a darkening picture for the UK with CPI inflation now expected to peak at 10 per cent in the last quarter of this year – the highest since 1982.

In a brutal hit on families, GDP is projected to fall at the same time – and will be in the red through 2023 as a whole, declining by 0.25 per cent. The unemployment rate is set to reach 5.5 per cent by 2025. 

Although still historically low, the 0.25 percentage point increase in interest rates takes them to a 13-year high of 1 per cent and will add to the mortgage burden for many Britons already struggling to cope with the cost-of-living crisis.

The economy essentially flatlines over the next three years, under the latest projection from the Bank of England

The darkening picture for the UK includes CPI inflation reaching double-digits- the highest level since 1982

 Inflation and interest rates both spiked in the 1970s – but Professor David Blanchflower said the UK faced a different situation today

The OBR highlighted in March that Britons are facing the biggest fall in real disposable income on record this year

How inflation threatens families and the public finances 

Inflation has long been seen as one of the biggest threats to economies.

In extreme examples, it has spiralled out of control and sparked panic.

The German Weimar Republic effectively collapsed after the value of the mark went from around 90 marks to the US dollar in 1921 to 7,400 marks to the dollar in 1921.

In Zimbabwe between 2008 and 2009 the monthly inflation rate was estimated to have reached a mind-boggling 79.6billion per cent.

Although inflation has faded in the minds of Britons who have become used to ultra-low interest rates and stable prices, it caused chaos here in the 1970s.

Deregulation of the mortgage market, the emergence of credit cards and an overheating economy drove the rate to an eye-watering 25 per cent in 1975.

People would rush to buy goods with their wages after pay-day, as the costs were rising so quickly.

Strikes erupted as there was pressure for pay packets to keep pace with prices.

Unemployment rose as the economy tipped into recession, and the government had to pump up interest rates in a bid to bolster the pound and control the surge.

That meant mortgage interest payments spiked into double digits.

And as a result servicing the national debt became a serious problem. 

The Bank admitted that the balance of risk on inflation is still that it could be even higher than anticipated: ‘We may need to increase interest rates further in the coming months.’

At a press conference, Mr Bailey warned that the Ukraine war had ‘sharply intensified’ inflationary pressures. He said the 1.75 per cent squeeze on incomes this year would be the worst on record apart from 2011 and he ‘recognised the hardship that this will cause for many in the UK’. 

‘The biggest driver is the real income shock which is coming from the change in the terms of trade, particularly from energy prices, and from some core goods and some food,’ he said. 

The headline CPI inflation rate reached 7 per cent in March, the highest since 1992, and some believe it will hit double-digits later in the year as the Ukraine war and pandemic fallout drive up energy and food prices.

And the MPC said today: ‘Consumer Price Index inflation is expected to rise further over the remainder of the year, to just over 9 per cent in 2022 Q2 and averaging slightly over 10 per cent at its peak in 2022 Q4.

‘The majority of that further increase reflects higher household energy prices following the large rise in the Ofgem price cap in April and projected additional large increase in October.

‘The price cap mechanism means that it takes some time for increases in wholesale gas and electricity prices, and their respective futures curves, to be reflected in retail energy prices.

‘Given the operation of the price cap, consumer price inflation is likely to peak later in the United Kingdom than in many other economies, and may therefore fall back later.

‘The expected rise in CPI inflation also reflects higher food, core goods and services prices.’

The value of the pound slipped near two-year lows at 1.24 against the US dollar and 0.6 per cent to 1.178 against the euro after the Bank’s gloomy views emerged.

The Bank’s main remit is to control inflation, but there are doubts over how effective a rate cut can be when the pressures are largely global and the UK economy already appears to be slowing down dramatically.

In a grim set of forecasts, it predicted growth will contract in the final three months of 2022 as the cost squeeze sees households rein in their spending.

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