Commute costs deterring workers from returning to the office full-time

(2 minutes to read)

Emburse: ‘Given the sharp increase in the cost of living, businesses should consider how they can support staff by reducing the financial burden of attending the office in-person’.

A new survey has revealed that as many as 68% of UK workers would consider returning to the office if their employer paid for their transport costs.

The Emburse data also shows that 27% wouldn’t look at coming back into the office on a full-time basis, even if commute costs were covered.

Interestingly, the survey found a clear divide of opinion between the age groups – those aged between 35-44 were the most tempted by a fully paid commute to the office (72%), compared to those aged 55+ (67%).

Here are the top incentives for tempting workers back into the office:

  • Four-day week (same number of work hours over four days, with a three-day weekend) – 59%
  • Fully paid commute – 52%
  • More paid holidays – 51%
  • Employer-paid lunch in the office – 30%
  • Receive reimbursement for lunch expenses – 24%
  • Paid childcare on work days (14%)

Kenny Eon, GM and SVP EMEA at Emburse, commented on the findings, “The impacts of COVID and the Great Resignation mean that companies need to be more employee-centric in their approach, and humanising the workplace has never been more important. Part of this means ensuring team members get the best possible work environment.”

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Eon added, “Whilst working remotely is certainly convenient for employees, there are clear benefits of having in-person interactions, as well as the cultural importance of bringing teams together. Data clearly shows that they are more productive than audio or video meetings, so there needs to be a balance between convenience and productivity. A relatively small investment from employers could have a significant impact in driving more in-office collaboration.

“Given the sharp increase in the cost of living, businesses should consider how they can support staff by reducing the financial burden of attending the office in-person. Reimbursing travel and lunches can certainly help do this. It also doesn’t have to mean endless time on paperwork, as expense apps can make the process easy for both the employee and the finance team.”

To find out more about contracting please contact Jaime on 01442 795 100 or email

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