Half of employees pushing to work from home to save on fuel costs, research reveals

Just a quarter say increase in prices will not affect their working arrangements as experts warn fuel duty cut has failed to keep costs down

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Nearly half of employees are trying to persuade their managers to allow them to work from home more often to mitigate rising fuel costs, research has revealed.

A poll of 2,922 workers by Randstad UK found 45 per cent were pushing for more remote work amid the cost of living crisis.

In comparison, just a quarter (25 per cent) of workers said that the rising costs would not affect their working arrangements, while 35 per cent said they did not yet know.

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Randstad’s findings followed a huge increase in the cost of petrol in recent months, with separate research from the RAC revealing that petrol and diesel pump prices rose by 11p and 22p per litre respectively in March.

Victoria Short, CEO of Randstad UK, added that the recent cut to fuel duty had failed to bring costs down.

“Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the International Energy Agency recommended its members introduce emergency measures to restrain demand, including working from home,” she said. 

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Short added that not all workers would be impacted by the increase in fuel prices in the same way, with workers outside the capital much more likely to commute by car than those in London.

But, she said: “Train passengers have just suffered one of the worst periods of cancellations ever due to staff shortages – so that’s not exactly a reliable option either.”

Separate research figures from the Office for National Statistic’s (ONS) Labour Force survey showed that the majority (68 per cent) of UK commuters travel to work by car, minibus or van, with a far higher proportion doing so in Northern Ireland (84 per cent) and Wales (81 per cent) than in Scotland (70 per cent) or England (67 per cent).

The findings come as separate research revealed nearly half of employers were not planning to increase pay this year.

The poll of more than 1,000 UK-based managers by the Chartered Management Institute found that one in three were concerned about the financial performance of their organisations and, as a result, 48 per cent were not planning to give pay rises this year.

“Cost pressures are hitting employers and employees alike, and something in the system will have to give,” said Anthony Painter, director of policy at the CMI.