Stay-at-home Californians save $1.5 billion per month, study reveals

Prior to the great transition to working from home, doing our jobs at our usual place of work might have brought some financial benefits, such as being an abundant provider of stationery and other office items, such as pens, paper, staplers and most importantly, a comfortable desk and chair. However, all things considered, a sizable proportion of our paychecks was spent on expenses that could have been avoidable —grabbing a meal from the local lunch spot, afterwork drinks and fuel spent on the commute. Now that so many people are working from home, or working hybrid models, many have found themselves able to pocket the extra cash each month. But how much exactly? It’s a question that sought to uncover…

The website surveyed 3,206 WFH employees to determine how much money they’ve been saving each month since shifting to a work-from-home model. The in-depth survey revealed that California employees are collectively saving more than $1.5 billion dollars per month —around $331.13 each in savings (this compares to a national average of $281.61). And it appears these savings have stood employees in good stead as 35 percent said they’ve now been able to buy things they normally wouldn’t be able to afford if they continued working from the office.

When these figures were analyzed further, WFH employees in Wyoming were found to have gained the highest amount in savings — $57 million per month.

Nearly two-thirds of home-workers said they prefer their new work-from-home model as compared to working in an office. However, for those who lack the space and proper office set-up, working from home meant having to purchase additional supplies, which might have included a desk and office chair; stationery; a printer; or even new pieces of technology, like a laptop or iPad.

“Many employees, who were new to working from home at the start of the pandemic, underestimated how many supplies and how much office equipment they would need in their new home workspace,” said James Ellis, spokesperson for PR Pioneer. “It is, however, clear that a significant number of people prefer the idea of working from home, as compared to going into a physical office. Pocketing a solid amount in cash savings each month also grants employees the ability to buy things they may not have been able to afford prior to working from home.”

Overall, employees have spent more than $180 on their home office set-up since they began working from home. And it seems like many feel they shouldn’t be responsible for these costs in any case. In fact, a majority of workers think their employers should reimburse them for the money they’ve had to spend on their home office set-up.

Despite the benefits (and added savings) of working from home, more than a quarter also admitted that slow home internet speeds have affected their day-to-day job performance.

Lastly, 39 percent of employees think that small businesses located near offices (like local coffee shops, restaurants and bars), who have lost business due to the shift in the number of people now working from home, should be financially compensated.