The study was undertaken by the team behind all-in-one human resources software company www.factorialhr.co.uk, and was conducted in response to the calls made this week which stated that remote workers should be paid less than their colleagues.
Looking at the annual increase in both the price of rail fares and the average wage (not adjusted for inflation), the team found that train tickets had gone up by +44% since 2010, while the average weekly wage is only +18% greater than it was at that time.
From this, it was calculated what the average UK salary would be if it had increased at the same rate as the cost of a train ticket, finding that it would be £711 a week, as opposed to £586.
Over the course of a year, it’s estimated that the salary would be £6,000 greater than it actually is; £36,972, compared to £30,472.
Between 2010 and 2020, the largest annual increase in the average UK weekly salary was +3.5%, which occurred in 2018. The yearly increase in rail fares has exceeded this on three occasions, in 2011 (+6.2%), 2012 (+5.9%), and 2013 (+3.9%).
Commenting on the research, Bernat Farrero, CEO of www.factorialhr.co.uk, said, “There is clearly a disparity between the cost of commuting and the average wage, which is why calls for remote workers to be docked wages are as unfair as they are illogical. Only looking at the past 10 years, and only the cost of a train ticket, we can see how the cost of commuting has grown exponentially compared to the average wage. This is even without considering the extra costs of home working, such as heating and office equipment.”