Nearly 50 percent of employees state that they are likely to commute to the workplace to save on their energy bills amidst the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
Almost half of employees report the positive impacts of working from home compared to office working, highlighting the risk to mental well-being as more employees return to the workplace.
With inflation at its highest level in 40 years and this year seeing the largest fall in UK real wages since records began in 2001 according to reports, the cost of living crisis is creating a cause for concern for those across the country.
As winter draws nearer, and energy bills already skyrocketing, homeowners are faced with the difficult reality of how they may afford to keep their homes warm in the coming months.
And for those working from home, this could even mean altering their working environment to cut back on costs with recent surveys revealing that more than 85 percent of employees found working from the office more appealing amidst the cost of living crisis.
Now, nearly half state that they are likely to make the commute to their workplace to save on their energy bills, thus meaning employers should expect a large return to office working soon.
Does working from health benefit mental health?
The widespread shift to home-working over the past two years as a result of the pandemic has benefitted the mental health of employees, with almost half (45%) reporting a positive impact compared to working in the office according to research.
Coupled with the negative impact that the cost of living has so far had on employees’ mental health, the need to return to the office suggests that wellbeing across the country could be significantly impaired over the coming months.
Supporting this, 66 percent of therapists state that cost-0f-living concerns are causing a decline in mental wellbeing.
Sarah Baker, Chief Learning Officer at Virtual College stated:
“Now, more so than ever, employers need to be attuned with the underlying impacts of our current and ongoing climate on mental wellbeing.
“Whilst the cost of living crisis is going to be difficult for us all, for employees who have made the shift to home working as a result of the pandemic, now having to reconsider their working environment is undoubtedly overwhelming, and employers need to be prepared for how best to address this.
“Providing support not only for employees’ mental wellbeing as they transition back to the office but also supporting them in getting reacquainted with an office environment will help employees to best adapt to the ongoing circumstances”.
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.