Cost-of-living crisis | Financial stress

Cost-of-living crisis | Financial stress causing productivity to crash

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UK businesses are suffering a drop in productivity due to feeling the burden of financial stress, a new study has found. Data released by global employee wellbeing platform Champion Health, which surveyed 2,200 UK employees, shows that financial pressure is now the highest cause of stress with 34% citing it in a survey. Overall, 71% of UK professionals are experiencing moderate to high levels of stress. The survey shows the cost-of-living crisis is causing those who experience financial stress to feel fatigued. 48% of those experiencing financial stress report terrible sleep quality, whilst 47% say this is leading to anxiety.

One in ten all of employees report financial stress is affecting their ability to do their job.

The data, collected between October 2021 – June 2022 is published in Champion Health’s Cost Of Living Crisis report, which includes authors from Champion Health and its newly formed Global Wellbeing Advisory Board, including Global Head of Health and Wellbeing for Ocado, Arti Kashyap-Aynsley, is dedicated to exploring how the cost of living and rising financial stress affects the wellbeing of UK professionals.

Other key findings include:

  • Younger employees are twice as likely to be affected by financial stress than older colleagues (35% of 25–34-year-olds vs 17% of 45-54-year-olds)

  • Female professionals are 33% more likely to experience financial stress

Harry Bliss, CEO and co-founder of Champion Health, said that while the findings are worrying, the data helps highlight that employees’ financial wellbeing has a direct impact on business productivity. He added that the findings should jolt leaders and businesses to take the wellbeing of their teams ever more seriously.

Bliss said: “The last six months have been extremely tough on every employee, and I’m extremely concerned by the results of this report. Just as the world began to return to something resembling normality, new global crises have emerged, resulting in increased stress on the wellbeing of our people.

“What we’re seeing is a workforce under continuous pressure, both financially and mentally. From the rising cost of living to the long shadow cast by a new war in Europe, organisations must do more to support their people.

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“The cost-of-living crisis has a knock-on effect where financial stress is causing fatigue and businesses are at risk of having an unproductive workforce.

“At its most extreme, those experiencing financial stress are more than twice as likely to experience thoughts of suicide or self-harm. This alone must galvanise businesses to act. Companies can help to turn this dangerous pattern now. It's not just a business challenge, this is a moral challenge too.”

Champion Health provides a data-driven platform that supports employees with all areas of wellbeing. After joining the NASDAQ-listed Physitrack Group PLC, Champion has now launched integrated care pathways that sit within its digital platform.

Champion Health, which recently welcomed new clients including NHS Lincolnshire, BBC Studios and Clyde & Co, will be hosting a virtual event to share actionable advice around the findings. To join the event on 23rd August, sign up here or download the Cost of Living report here.