More than eight million UK adults have already had to give up or cancel certain outgoings to counter the rising cost of living, according to new research from MetLife UK.

Two in five (40%) will give up every day perks such as eating lunch out and buying coffees to prioritise paying for necessities.

A further 57 percent of Brits say that while they haven’t had to make difficult choices and cut back their outgoings yet, they suspect they will need to do so in the future.


The soaring cost of returning to the office

Train tickets, coffees and lunches all contribute to the very high price of returning to the office.

With the cost-of-living rising, it is not surprising that employees are expressing concerns that returning to the office five days a week is not necessarily feasible anymore.

“It’s a particularly difficult time for consumers up and down the country, with many seeing their personal finances severely under pressure. Highest inflation in 30 years, rising energy prices, fuel bills and food costs are all stopping our money from going further each month. Finding the funds to pay for daily essentials has already pushed Brits to weigh up their outgoings and think about where they can cut back,” says Head of Individual Protection at MetLife UK, Rich Horner.

“Daily perks such as coffees… were found to be some of the first things to go when trying to save money,” adds Horner.


What can employers do to help?

Offering financial incentives to make the idea of commuting to the office 5 days a week more attractive may be an effective method.

However, offering tangible financial wellbeing programmes for employees during this time is paramount, especially if the employees are expected to commute every day.

“Income protection is also crucial for workers, particularly those who are self-employed, who may need to take time off work due to an accident or illness. While paying monthly for these products may feel like a stretch at the time, policyholders can be comfortable in the knowledge that they have a back-up plan in place for when they need it most,” says Horner.

A companies approach to this issue may also have an impact on their staff retention rate.

An enforced back-to-office policy with no consideration or support put in place for their employees may have detrimental consequences for staff retention.





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 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.