The spiralling cost of heating could see company car drivers choose to return to the office this winter to save costs, reversing the work-from-home trend that began during the pandemic, FleetCheck is predicting.

Peter Golding, managing director at the fleet software specialist, pointed out that the massively increased cost of heating a home in order to work during the day was making the cost and effort of visiting the office much more attractive to many.

“This is unlikely to be a uniform trend and will depend very much on how much each individual’s heating bill has risen compared to the fuel cost of their commute – but the sums will undoubtedly add up for some.

“There will be at least a couple of potential effects for fleets. Working from home has been an overall mileage saver for fleets and if more employees start commuting, mileage will increase, which has an obvious knock-on effects in terms of the amount of SMR needed.

“The other is more subtle. Some company car drivers effectively became home workers during the pandemic and their journey to work was really no longer classed as a commute for risk management purposes. That situation could now reverse.”

Peter added that FleetCheck had already picked up on anecdotal feedback that more EV company car drivers were heading into work to charge their vehicles as electricity costs had risen during recent months.

“The picture regarding EV charging at work remains in flux and many businesses still give the power away to anyone who parks on their car park and wants to use it, whether it is for business or private mileage. This may have to change if more drivers use free company facilities for all of their charging needs. Electricity is becoming, or has perhaps already become, too expensive to be given away for non-work purposes.”