The outbreak of COVID-19 has led to one of the most significant changes to our working lives that the world has ever seen: millions of people have left the office behind to work from home (WFH).

For some, working from home was already part of their regular working routine. For many, it’s a whole new way of doing things.

So, how has working from home impacted our hip pockets? How much are we spending to use our own broadband, keep our lights and heating on and make those extra cups of coffee throughout the day?

Below we show how some of these costs could stack up throughout a month around the world.

Note that all prices are shown in US dollars.

Overall worldwide monthly costs of working from home

Key Average monthly cost of a fixed-line broadband package Average price of 1GB mobile data Cost of electricity per kWh Cost to use laptop (8 hours 0.05 kWh) Monthly cost to use a laptop Cost to use a light bulb (8 hours 0.06 kWh) Monthly lighting cost Cost to use a boiler (4 hours 24 kWh) Monthly heating cost Cost to use a kettle (10 mins 3 kWh) Monthly cost to use a kettle Monthly cost to use air conditioning Overall monthly cost
0.05 kWh
0.06 kWh
24 kWh
3 kWh

Overall worldwide monthly costs of working from home



The average monthly cost of a fixed-line broadband package according to’s worldwide comparison.

Mobile Data

The average cost of 1GB of data according to’s worldwide mobile data pricing.

Utility costs

We estimated energy costs by multiplying the estimated kilowatts per hour (kWh) of each activity by the average cost per kWh of electricity in each country, (sourced from World Bank) to establish the estimated cost for an hour’s use. Then we use this figure to calculate the cost across a working day (eight hours) and month (20 working days).

For countries where the capital city has an average annual temperature of over 12˚C, we looked at air conditioning costs, whereas for those lower than 12˚C, we looked at the cost of heating.

For these two factors, we calculated the estimated cost for six months of usage, then averaged this across twelve months.