In-Office Workers Spend (A Lot) More Money Than Remote Employees During the Workday. Here's How Much. According to a new report, 66% of U.S. employees who returned to the office are spending an average of $51 per workday.

By Madeline Garfinkle

Key Takeaways

  • A new report found that workers who go into the office spend over $50 more than those who stay at home.
  • The extra expenses include things like pet care, lunch, and commuting.
  • If remote or hybrid workers are required to return to the office, 29% of them expect a pay increase to offset the increased costs, the report found.

Going into the office (versus working from home) means spending extra time on a commute — and extra money.

According to video conferencing company Owl Lab's 2023 State of Work report, 66% of U.S. employees who returned to the office either hybrid or full-time ended up spending an average of $51 more every workday than if they were working remotely. The biggest costs attributed to the in-office shift are pet care ($20 a day), lunch expenses ($16 a day), and the cost of commuting ($14 a day).

"There's no question working from the office is 'wildly more expensive'" Frank Weishaupt, CEO of Owl Labs, told CNBC.

The report surveyed 2,000 workers in the U.S. aged 18 or older who work at companies with at least two employees. The majority of the employees surveyed (67%) were millennials between the ages of 27 and 42.

Furthermore, the report found that if hybrid or remote workers were asked to return to the office, 29% would "expect a pay increase to make up for the additional costs," and 24% reported that they would begin looking for a new job to accommodate flexibility preferences.

Related: After Being Told They Could Work From Home Forever, Employees Made Major Life Changes. Then, a New CEO Ordered Them Back to the Office.

The report also found that 49% of workers find it easier to maintain a work-life balance in a remote job, while 31% believe a hybrid model is more conducive to work-life balance, with only 20% preferring a full in-office setup. Remote workers also reported less stress than in-office employees.

Still, many business leaders, such as Elon Musk and Martha Stewart, have openly slammed the practice of remote working. Musk called the practice "morally wrong," while Stewart said she is on a "rampage" to get employees back in the office.

Related: Kevin O'Leary Slams Martha Stewart's Comments on Remote Work: 'Nobody Wants to Work in These Places'

Madeline Garfinkle

Entrepreneur Staff

News Writer

Madeline Garfinkle is a News Writer at She is a graduate from Syracuse University, and received an MFA from Columbia University. 

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