About Us  |  About Cheetah®  |  Contact Us

Survey finds American workers spend an average of $3000 a year on coffee and lunch at work

American workers spend an alarmingly high amount of their hard earned cash on somewhat average daily expenses, according to a new Workonomix survey by Accounting Principals. The survey found that 50 percent of the American workforce spends approximately $1000 a year on coffee, or a weekly coffee habit of more than $20. And the spending doesn’t stop there. Two thirds (66 percent) of working Americans buy their lunch instead of packing it, costing them an average of $37 per week — nearly $2,000 a year.

Despite these high costs, the survey suggests workers are unclear about the biggest drain to their wallet. When asked which work expense they most want to be reimbursed for by their employer, 42 percent of employees chose commuting costs and only 11 percent chose lunch expenses. However, the average American’s commuting cost is $123 a month or approximately $1500 a year, which is well below the average annual lunch tab of $2000.

“Small — but consistent — expenses add up quickly over time, and it can be difficult for consumers to realize it because they’re only spending a few dollars at a time. But, as our survey shows, those few dollars can quickly turn into a few thousand dollars,” said Jodi Chavez, senior vice president, Accounting Principals. “Additionally, when you look at it over a worker’s lifetime, that number grows exponentially. Consider the average American who works for about 40 years, starting their first job around age 22. By the time they retire at age 62 they would have spent at minimum $120,000 on coffee and lunch, not including inflation.”

This is especially true for young American workers. The survey found that younger professionals (ages 18-34) spend almost twice as much on coffee during the week than those ages 45+ ($24.74 vs. $14.15, respectively). They also shell out more for lunch, spending an average of $44.78 per week on lunch compared to their older colleagues who spend $31.80 per week. However, it seems American workers of all ages are starting to realize the effect this incremental spending has on their personal bottom line. According to the survey, one-third (35 percent) of employees have made it a financial goal to bring lunch instead of buying it in 2012.

Other survey findings include:

  • Better food and coffee in the office might help cut back personal spending. Perhaps because of how much they’re spending outside the office, American workers would like companies to invest in better food and drinks in the office. One-quarter (25 percent) of Americans wish their company would invest in better vending machine snacks and 22 percent of American workers would like their company to invest in better coffee in the office.
  • Employers should focus on the “simple pleasures” to keep employees happy. Although better food and drinks would be a plus, employees most want to see their companies invest in better office equipment (46 percent) and more comfortable office chairs (32 percent) in 2012.
  • Corporate discounts do not factor into employees’ purchase decisions. Companies looking to attract new candidates shouldn’t focus on corporate discounts as a selling point. The majority (82 percent) of employees say corporate discounts matter little or not at all when buying a new product or service.

“As the recovery gains momentum and companies look to attract and retain talent, they should consider worrying less about big-ticket discounts and focus instead on what will impact their employees’ happiness every day,” said Chavez. “Small improvements around the office, such as better equipment, food and drinks, can make a big difference in workers’ morale. After all it is often the little things in life that tend to make people the happiest.”

Source: Accounting Principals; www.accountingprincipals.com.

Sprinting to 100-day mark, White House shifts regulatory landscape

May 4th, 2021

By WK Editorial Staff
Faced with historic, national challenges on multiple fronts—public health, the economy, infrastructure, the environment, voting rights, trade, national security, corruption, etc.—the Biden Administration came flying out of the gate. One hundred days later, the pace has only intensified.
In that brief span, aided by a razor-thin majority in [Read more...]

Assigning disabled employee to unwanted position generally inappropriate if accommodation would allow employee to remain in preferred position

May 4th, 2021

By Kathleen Kapusta, J.D.
Every circuit to have addressed the issue, observed the court, has concluded that an employer fails to accommodate a disabled employee when it transfers that employee from a position he could perform if provided with reasonable accommodations to a position he does not want.
After considering precedent from its [Read more...]

$426K jury verdict in favor of terminated diabetic GoJet pilot may increase on remand

May 4th, 2021

By Brandi O. Brown, J.D.
GoJet fired the pilot while he was on FMLA leave following a diabetes diagnosis, and a jury concluded that it had engaged in both FMLA interference and retaliation.
Dashing GoJet Airline’s hopes of escaping a $426K verdict in favor of a diabetic pilot, whom it fired once [Read more...]

Experts share insights on intersection between COVID-19 pandemic and civil rights issues

May 3rd, 2021

By Pamela Wolf, J.D.
One panelist pressed for Commission guidance on workplace vaccination policies.
At a hearing on April 28, 2021, the EEOC heard from a dozen invited experts on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on civil rights in the workplace. It was the Commission’s first all-virtual hearing. The panelists represented a [Read more...]

500K Amazon employees to see raises to the tune of $1B

May 3rd, 2021

By Pamela Wolf, J.D.
It’s Amazon’s second big announcement for employees following the union defeat in Bessemer, Alabama; the first underscored the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts.
On April 28, Amazon made another important announcement to employees in the aftermath of the April 9 defeat of unionization efforts at the e-commerce [Read more...]