• Americans are spending an average of $200 more a month as a result of working from home because of increased grocery and utility bills
  • The average U.S. household spends $283 a month at restaurants, $170 on gasoline, $154 on clothing and $64 on public transportation – a total of $672
  • Only 4% of those queried said they don't want to work from home at all


While surveys indicate the majority of Americans like working from home and would preferring doing so at least a few days a week once coronavirus restrictions are lifted, staying at home is costing them more than commuting to an office.

With most employers making plans to reopen workplaces within three months, a poll released Thursday by and YouGov indicates 82% of those forced to work from home because of the pandemic want to continue to have the option, with 35% saying they’d like not to have to go into the office ever again. Only 4% of the 2,768 adults queried May 21-22 said they never want to work from home again once they’ve been liberated.

Before the coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of workplaces, just 13.2% of the workforce was working from home. The pandemic pushed that percentage to about half. A Piplsay survey of 20,169 Americans indicated 33% had been asked to work from home.

A survey of 1,000 executives conducted May 5-14 by Littler Mendelson indicated 78% planned to reopen their workplaces within three months while 34% said they would do so within one month. Nearly 60% said reopening would include health screenings and/or testing, and half said they were considering requiring more employees to work remotely.

The survey also indicated Americans were finding working from home was more expensive than commuting, spending more on groceries and utilities, an average of $182 and $121 more, respectively, and saving just $98 total on restaurants, transportation, dry cleaning and childcare.

“I was really surprised by this, too,” industry analyst Tedd Rossman told IBTimes in response to a query.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the average U.S. household spends $283 a month at restaurants, $170 on gasoline, $154 on clothing and $64 on public transportation – a total of $672.

“Most households aren’t spending as much as one might expect on these things, even in normal times. And even during the pandemic, many have continued spending at least some money in these categories,” Rossman said.

He noted, however, the BLS doesn’t have a specific line item for childcare, which would be zero for most households but could run into the thousands for households with young children.

“That’s the other big point here. Everyone’s situation is different. Some people, sadly, are really struggling. Others who are fortunate enough to be able to work from home and still bring in a good salary may be doing very well and [are] in a position to save/invest/pay down debt with their extra money,” he said.