World Mental Health Day 2022: wellbeing impacted by spiralling costs

A new report from consultancy firm, Theta Global Advisors, reveals how the financial pressure Britons face in their personal lives is having an impact on their work and the challenge this presents for employers and policymakers.

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Nearly one in four British respondents (24%) reported they’re now less productive at work due to stress from the cost of living, which applied to ONS working population figures equates to 7.6 million people.
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Health and financial wellbeing

This marks another concerning development amidst the cost-of-living crisis, says Theta Global Advisors, as people’s spending power is decreasing, their ability to simply earn a wage is also being significantly affected.Highlighting the extent of this issue, leading personal finance app, Hyperjar, found 25% of Brits now even state that being responsible for their family finances is their biggest mental health strain. 
The consultancy’s research also found that almost half (46%) of respondents state their employer has not done enough to help them with the cost-of-living crisis, and as a result, there has been a significant rise in “quiet quitting” with a further 29% reporting they’re actively looking for another job with higher pay.

A balancing act

This brings concerns for UK employers surrounding the long-term survival of their organisations as wages in the private sector already grew by an average of 7.2% earlier in the year, says Theta Global Advisors.
As British employees demand higher salaries, Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England, has already warned employers that increasing wages will create a wage-inflation spiral. This could worsen inflation conditions across the UK as companies continue to raise prices to protect their profits.However, if organisations don’t take some form of action to support their employees, the success of UK business stands in jeopardy, warns the consultancy, highlighting evidence of employees’ frustration with the recent strikes from rail workers, criminal barristers, and warnings of industrial action in sectors such as nursing, education and transport as they all seek pay rises in response to the increasing cost of living.

More support for employees

Commenting on the change in productivity over the past year, founder and CEO of Theta Global Advisors, Chris Biggs, says, “Our research highlights the latest concerning trend amidst the cost of living crisis – not only are people struggling financially, but now their ability to earn a wage is also being affected caused by the stress of the current situation.“As the value of real wages continues to decrease across the UK, many workers are understandably turning their gaze towards jobs with better pay.
“Nearly half of the UK workforce feel that their employer isn’t doing enough to help them through this time, which is resulting in an increasing number of people ‘quiet quitting’ in search of more support elsewhere.“Despite rising inflation and the cost of living, the UK job market remains strong with high demand for skilled and unskilled workers, meaning employers should carefully re-examine their salary structures accordingly or they’ll risk losing staff.
“Flexible working schedules are another powerful tool to increase retention and create an attractive company culture with our research highlighting many workers still prioritise a healthy work-life balance over a high salary.“At this time, listening to the different needs of your staff and updating benefit schemes accordingly will be crucial for retention. By guiding your team through their concerns and doing your best to offer the necessary support, it will allow them to focus more on their job and ultimately keep productivity up.”

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