How to take care of your workers during the cost-of-living crisis

Emma MacGregor
Emma MacGregor
Senior Community Manager
Collective Benefits
Worker wellbeing

Companies have a responsibility to look after their workforce, especially during times like the current cost-of-living crisis. Doing so is not only vital for workers, but also for the health of the business as financial pressures can have an impact on worker wellbeing and performance.

For example, one in four (28%) of people responding to a new CIPD survey said money problems had impacted their job performance. This figure rose to 34% of those earning less than £20,000. With many flexible workers falling into this salary bracket, it’s clear to see that making sure they feel supported is key to your business health.

One way to help is through increasing pay. However, this might not be a viable option for every organisation - after all, the cost-of-living crisis impacts businesses too. 

If this is the case for you, we’ve got some other ideas on how to put money back into your workers’ hands - let’s dive in 👇 

The cost of working: how to help

Every time members leave their home to come to work there will be an associated cost. Here are three key areas you can help support them in:

Childcare: on average childcare can cost families £137.69 a week for part-time care, and  £263.81 a week for full-time care. Although the government does offer tax-free childcare to self-employed workers, businesses should look at other ways to reduce the costs such as:

  • Childcare vouchers
  • Partnering with daycare facilities to offer discounts
  • Providing daycare on-site, where applicable 

Travel: British workers spend on average £795.72 a year traveling to and from their place of work. Businesses can help reduce these costs by providing:

  • Fuel discounts for workers who have their own car or motorbike
  • Subsidised or discounted public transport costs
  • Work location - where possible giving workers the flexibility to choose the area in which they work 

Meals: providing access to cheap/free healthy meals whilst members are on duty can make a huge difference to financial, mental and physical wellbeing. Ways to do this include: 

  • Offering discounts to supermarkets and restaurants that offer healthy quick meal options 
  • Partnering with local vendors to support businesses in the community

Regular expenses outside of work, and how you can help minimise them

Of course, the cost-of-living crisis extends outside of work, too. Here are three key areas to consider: 

Access to benefits: such as discounts on supermarkets, gyms and subscriptions they already use and value such as Netflix, Disney, Spotify, Audible and Amazon Prime

Household bills: workers are feeling a big financial strain on household costs as fees continue to rise. Where possible, businesses should offer a subsidised program such as a one-off bonus or voucher towards their bills. Other ways of helping workers save is to provide education on what can be done at home to help reduce their costs.

Flexibility: Not all workers are the same and therefore they don’t value the same things. Offering flexibility in how they would like to save, and what they can save on, will ensure you’re providing value to all of your workforce.

Taking care of your workers during the cost-of-living crisis: final thoughts

No matter what you’re introducing to help your workers through the cost-of-living crisis, one point to remember is that awareness is equally important. 

Make sure you’re letting your workers know about the different ways they can save - if you need advice on how to communicate with them, this blog post has plenty of tips - to make sure they’re more equipped and aware of their options. 

Awareness goes both ways, too. Check in regularly to make sure you’re giving your workers what they need. Getting the right support to them is what’s ultimately going to make flexible workers feel supported - and in turn, keep them loyal to your business. 

Prioritising worker wellbeing positively impacts a business: read about how doing sogot Ryde an 80% retention rate here.

November 3, 2022
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Worker wellbeing

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