The UK has seen sustained squeeze on household incomes. Only in January did inflation drop below the Bank of England’s 2 per cent target for the first time in two years. With the country’s post-Brexit economic outlook far from certain, in March 2019 BMG Research sought to explore public perceptions of their financial security and how this has an impact upon employees in the workplace. This research was completed using our monthly nationally representative online omnibus.

The key finding from this research (which is summarised in this infographic) is that the proportion of those in work who expect to be less financially secure in the next 12 months has increased by 9% points since July 2017 to 38%. Alongside this 48% of those in work have lost sleep because of money worries in the last few weeks.

Just over four in ten of those in employment (42%) have been often or always worried about money in the last few weeks. Furthermore, across all of those in work, just under one in five (19%) have regularly spent time dealing with personal financial issues at work. These findings highlight the impact financial stress can having on day-to-day workplace experiences. For employers, a further economic downturn could risk an increase in the number of employees who are tired and distracted, with obvious implications for productivity.

Just 39% of those in work agree that they are comfortable talking to their manager about their financial wellbeing, which drops to 30% among those who are finding it difficult to manage on their present income.

Commenting on these results. Steve Handley, a Research Director at BMG Research said:

“Given that recently a major high street retailer in Waterstones has been criticised for its inability to pay frontline staff the living wage, this data provides a timely insight into the interrelationship between personal finances and workplace experiences. Financial pressures are not left at the door when an employee comes to work and when such issues are acute; they clearly have an adverse effect on focus and productivity. Good line managers would back themselves to pick up when something is amiss with a team member, but given the reluctance of those feeling financial strain to talk about these problems, making difference on this issue is clearly a challenge.”

If you wish to discuss any project in which you wish to understand the voice of your employees  please contact Simon Maydew (Executive Director) simon.maydew@bmgresearch.co.uk  or Steve Handley (Research Director)  steve.handley@bmgresearch.co.uk  who would be happy to discuss how our full range of services could be of benefit to your organisation.

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