By Minck Hermans, CEO borofree
The past year has seen the UK’s workforce face vast amounts of uncertainty around the future of their employment. From a furlough scheme with shifting deadlines and terms, to imminent redundancies and income pressures, it is unsurprising that the financial wellbeing of the workplace is suffering.
Alongside the ever-changing rules and regulations, limitations and restrictions that employees have had to contend with in the last 16 months and the financial pressures this may have brought, many employers are in fact unaware of how money concerns can impact their staff. Yet, research indicates that lost productivity for financially stressed employees brings a cost of £51bn a year to the economy, so this issue needs to be given greater attention by organisations. Added to this, our own recent study revealed that more than 1 in 10 UK employees have found that financial worries, caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, have impacted their productivity and ability to perform at work.
Reduced productivity levels and financial struggles – especially within the last year – are having a devastating impact on employee’s mental health. Our recent research highlighted that 46% of UK adults who have struggled to pay or budget for expenses admitted that it has triggered periods of depression, while more than half (52%) have suffered with insomnia or sleep problems. Clearly, employees with such concerns will not be able to perform at their best in the workplace and as a result may report increased days of absence or leave the company altogether. This in turn brings a domino effect on the business, with reduced productivity, at a time when it needs it the most. These shocking statistics show that when a workforce is preoccupied with their own financial issues their commitment to work is one of several factors that is negatively impacted. Therefore, it is vital that businesses start to take the financial wellbeing of their staff more seriously and provide the support that is needed.
As businesses begin to rebuild their offering in a post-pandemic world, a happy and stable workforce will play a key part of recovery. One way to do this is by ensuring employers are offering a benefits package that supports its employees in all areas of life. It is time employee benefits evolved from being treated as a PR exercise to focusing on an offering that will genuinely improve employee’s workplace wellbeing and happiness. Financial support packages, such as borofree’s ‘all zero’ salary advance solution, gives businesses the opportunity to support staff wellbeing and mental health by giving greater financial confidence, at no cost to either the employer or employee. This will imminently stop the vicious cycle of debt as the cashless salary advance instils financial discipline so you’re only inclined to use for what you need. In being able to offer employees access to services like this, an employer is helping them when they might need it the most and giving them a platform to achieve greater financial wellbeing and positivity.
As businesses look towards post-pandemic recovery, there has never been a better time or opportunity to re-think how they are supporting and motivating team members. Like many aspects of life, employee expectations and needs have shifted during this period. Financial wellbeing cannot be underestimated, and employees should take steps to ensure they are offering the necessary support to their staff. In return, businesses are likely to reap the awards of a happier and more productive workforce and drive long-term retention.