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Employees forced to spend 20% of salary returning to office

A new study has found that Birminham is the most expensive city to commute in for hybrid workers as staff spends up to 16 per cent of their salary travelling in each month.

The research, by business management software specialist, ECI Software Solutions, looked at the cost of trains, parking, coffee, and the number of remote and flexible jobs on offer to reveal the Cost of Commuting Index, to reveal the percentage of salary that employees are likely to be spending getting to and from work each month.

It comes as a new study revealed that up to 90 per cent of companies plan to implement return-to-office policies by the end of 2024.

Birmingham was named as the most expensive place to commute by car as employees are likely to spend up to 16 per cent of their salary each month just getting to the office, before even considering petrol costs.

For those travelling by train, London was named as the most expensive using the average train costs by nearby areas. This is based on an average 40-minute commuting journey for 2.5 days a week, costing up to 22 per cent of their regular monthly earnings.

Derby was revealed to be the cheapest for train commuters, costing on average £76 a month with a daily return train ticket priced at £4.60. Similarly, the analysis showed Kingston upon Hull to be the cheapest city for car users.

The most expensive cities to commute by driving:

Birmingham - 16.72% of salary

Manchester - 14.80% of salary

Glasgow - 13.74% of salary

London - 13.34% of salary

Plymouth - 13.22% of salary

The most expensive cities to commute by train:

London - 22.31% of salary

Edinburgh - 15.82% of salary

Hull - 15.10% of salary

Birmingham - 13.52% of salary

Glasgow - 9.08% of salary

Birmingham is revealed to be the priciest commute by car. Out of an employee’s average monthly salary of £2,091, all that is left is £1,791 before household bills and petrol costs.

Bristol, Sheffield, and Edinburgh rank towards the bottom. Out of these top 10, Edinburgh has the lowest commute expenses with only 11 per cent of the average salary being spent on parking costs.

Emma Davies-Carolan, Vice President of Global Customer Marketing at ECI Software Solutions said, “recently there has been a real push to bring offices back to pre-pandemic levels. However, with so many employees used to flexible working, there might be some pushback on wanting to spend on extra commute days.

“The research reveals whether travelling by car or train, it still costs over £100 a month just for an average of two and a half days. With the current financial climate, this could be very expensive on top of household costs. This is one of the reasons why employers might want to invest in tools such as office technology software or business management software which can help to seamlessly switch between documents either in the office or at home. Employers have the chance to seize the opportunity to see better working with technology whilst changes are occurring.”

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