People are feeling worried about their financial situation during the run up to Christmas this year, according to a new online survey conducted by British Safety Council, with paying for everyday items the greatest concern.
Against a backdrop of the highest inflation in ten years, the survey also revealed that employers could do more to assist the financial wellbeing of their workforce.
Responding to a series of polls (see below for results) conducted on LinkedIn between 14 and 20 December, three-quarters (75 per cent) of 534 people said they were worried about money right now, while only a quarter (25 per cent) were not.
With much of current inflation being caused by higher energy, fuel and household bills, people’s finances are clearly being squeezed at a time when they also have to pay for Christmas.
In a separate poll, which asked what worries people most, paying for everyday items was chosen by three-quarters (73 per cent) of respondents, while a quarter (27 per cent) said being able to afford Christmas this year was most affecting their sense of wellbeing both generally and at work.
While just over half of people (57 per cent) in another poll said they did not discuss their financial wellbeing at work, under half (43 per cent) said they did. This shows a desire among people to talk about money issues either as colleagues or with their employer.
However, when asked ‘whether there are specific measures in place to support people’s financial wellbeing where you work and help you feel more in control of money’, two-thirds (65 per cent) responded to a poll that there were no such measures in place.
Commenting on the findings, Mike Robinson, British Safety Council Chief Executive, said:
“Good financial wellbeing means feeling in control of money, both now and into the future. Our online survey shows that, far from feeling in control, most people are worried about money in the run up to Christmas, and that just being able to afford everyday items is affecting their wellbeing both at home and in work.
“Employers need to know they have a real role to play, and the good news is nearly half of people are already talking about financial wellbeing at work. But without proper programmes in place, the risk is those people won’t be helped to think about or manage their money differently, and the other half who don’t talk about it will continue to worry, which could also lead to them either going off sick or negatively affect their performance. More employers should be actively addressing the issue of financial wellbeing with their staff.”
British Safety Council offers support for employers through its Being Well Together programme, as well as training for staff on ‘being better with money’, ‘making the most of your money’ and ‘planning for your retirement’.
The Being Well Together programme helps employers to assess their current requirements and health and wellbeing provision, understand any gaps and explore the most effective measures for them, helping them to build a plan. British Safety Council assigns employers a dedicated point of support to help them to interpret findings, give them access to research, resources and campaign materials as well as signpost them to reputable sources and understanding best practice.
People’s financial wellbeing can have an impact on their physical health and as such performance at work. Poor financial wellbeing can contribute to stress and anxiety, which in turn can impair our immune system and subsequently increase the chances of us becoming unwell.
On the other hand, good financial wellbeing has been linked with higher success rates in achieving goals and a positive impact on physical wellbeing. As with other issues related to wellbeing, taking a proactive approach to financial wellbeing is the best approach.
British Safety Council – Financial Wellbeing LinkedIn Poll
We conducted a poll, using the British Safety Council LinkedIn channel, among 71,132 followers during December 2021. The poll comprised four questions posted on consecutive days from 14 to 17 December, closing on 20 December. Each question remained live for three days.
Results were as follows:
Q1: 14-17 December
We’re keen to hear if money worries are affecting your sense of wellbeing, both generally & at work.
Are you worried about money right now?
- Yes 75%
- No 25%
Q2: 15-18 December
Thinking about how money might be affecting your sense of wellbeing, both generally and at work.
What is most worrying at the moment?
- Paying for everyday items? 73%
- Affording Christmas this year? 27%
Q3: 16-19 December
Good financial wellbeing means feeling in control of money, now & into the future.
Do you talk about financial wellbeing in your workplace?
- Yes 43%
- No 57%
Q4: 17-20 December
Are there specific measures in place to support people’s financial wellbeing where you work and help you feel more in control of money?
- Yes 35%
- No 65%