Workers in the UK could have saved as much as £19,372 ($26,794) while working from home over 12 months in lockdown, new research has found.
According to digital marketing agency AccuraCast, Brits were able to save this much due to no longer having to commute to the office, buy morning coffees or work clothes, as well as not being able to book holidays.
It also calculated that savings were made from less lunches at work over the period, a fall in average eating out costs and the annual cost of gym membership.
The figures, however, did not take into account the possible need to pay out more — for example, extra utility bills due to remote working, extra shopping bills and swapping workwear costs for lounge wear costs.
“It is astounding to think how much could be saved over the course of the last 12 months, when most people have been working from home and been in lockdown for the majority of it,” Farhad Divecha, founder and managing director, AccuraCast, said.
“Little things like the daily commute, a daily cup of coffee or buying lunch can soon add up, and working from home will have meant a saving in these areas.
He added: “Obviously not everyone will have been able to work from home, or take advantage of these savings, but this is just an idea of what areas people could save money on.
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It comes after a YouGov survey showed that 32% of Britons have managed to grow their savings during the pandemic.
Among all Britons, younger people are the most likely to spend what they have saved during the pandemic once the economy reopens, the YouGov poll showed. A quarter of 18- to 24-year-olds said they planned on using half or more of their savings in the last year, which is the highest of any group.
Earlier this year, Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane said excess savings and a huge pent-up demand could help the economy bounce back.
He said the UK was about to turn “a decisive corner” and was like a "coiled spring" ready to explode once conditions were right.
Haldane said a combination of desperation to catch up on missed socialising and record household savings meant the reopening of the economy should be like "a light-switch being flicked rather than a dimmer-switch being turned."
Households have accumulated more than £125bn in savings during the pandemic and Haldane said this "nest-egg" could reach £250bn by June at the current rate.
It is unclear how much will be spent after the crisis passes but Haldane predicted a surge in spending once restrictions ease.
"People are not just desperate to get their social lives back, but also to catch up on the social lives they have lost over the past 12 months," he said.
"That might mean two pub, cinema or restaurant visits a week rather than one. It might mean a higher-spec TV or car or house.
"There were glimpses of this last year as people used their savings as a down-payment on a mortgage, helping fuel a mini housing boom. If households spent, say, a quarter of their savings this would boost growth by more than an extra £50bn."
Haldane has been consistently optimistic about the prospects for the UK economy throughout the pandemic. Early on in the crisis he predicted a so-called V-shaped recovery — a swift rebound — and last September he warned people against "chicken licken" pessimism about the economy.
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