1 in 5 employees feel their performance at work is being affected by the cost of living

Employee Benefits Consultancy, Drewberry, explain how the cost of living is affecting work performance and share what benefits staff value

The cost of living crisis is affecting everyone in many aspects of life. According to The Mental Health Foundation, UK adults are not sleeping well, seeing friends less and not exercising as much. All of which can have a significant impact on mental wellbeing. The financial worries faced by most are also affecting their ability to perform well at work.

With worries about the costs of food and energy, people can easily become more stressed and suffer poor mental health. Not only are employees affected by this, it has a knock-on-effect on employers too. So, we’re going to explore how the cost of living is impacting work performance and how employers can help.

Cost of living crisis as also a mental health crisis

Employee Benefits Consultancy Drewberry conducted a survey asking UK employees about their work benefits and satisfaction. The findings revealed that nearly half of UK employees (47 per cent) agree that their mental health has been impacted by the cost of living.

This is a startling statistic. But it’s understandable as money worries can cause stress, depression and anxiety. As such, worrying about finances plays a large role in how someone is feeling. Should an employee stress about their bills, it can lead to a drop in motivation and productivity.

Drewberry’s survey also found that 21 per cent of staff think that the cost of living crisis is affecting their performance at work too. Employers may notice an increase in absence and a notable decrease in their employees’ ability to work.

Employers aren’t doing enough to support their employees

Employees are feeling let down by their employers during the crisis. The survey revealed that over half of employees thought their employer wasn’t doing enough to support them.

Insignificant support is a cause of unhappiness for employees. 31 per cent of respondents said lack of support is what makes them unhappy at work, which doesn’t bode well for companies. Job dissatisfaction can lead to higher turnover, decreased performance and a low quality of work.

Importance of looking after your employees

Being an employer goes further than providing an annual salary. Caring for your employees is key if you want to keep your staff and create a happy, productive workforce. The benefits of supporting your employees are well recognised. These include increased productivity, better staff retention and reduced sick leave.

The UK strikes in the public sector are a prime example of what happens when staff feel undervalued at work. This reiterates the importance of caring for your employees’ wellbeing. Although you might not be able to offer pay rises during the crisis, there are many valuable things you can do.

What can employers do?

When Drewberry asked employees what support they want from their employer, they found that:

  • 67 per cent would like a pay rise
  • 25 per cent want one-off payments to combat the cost of living
  • 23 per cent of staff want an increase in remote working options
  • 16 per cent want travel subsidy to help with commuting costs
  • 16 per cent said free food and drink in the office would be supportive

Although these may cost a business to put in place, they provide value to your employees. Listening to their needs can help increase retention, attendance and build a positive workplace culture. As a result, employers will then enjoy an engaged and productive team.

With the above data in mind, the following benefits may be beneficial for your team:

  • One-off cost of living payments
  • Subsidised meals in the workplace
  • Flexible working options to support individual employee needs
  • Financial wellbeing benefits, such as discounts and rewards and financial advice
  • Salary sacrifice arrangements, like cycle to work schemes and workplace pension contributions
  • Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs)

Knowing which employee benefits to offer and how to implement them can be a challenge. Luckily, there are many companies that can review your existing perks and help add more. Drewberry helps businesses ensure staff get the best value, using its extensive knowledge of the employee benefits market.

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