As the UK opens up, conversations about returning to the workplace are high on the agenda. When employees return – whether physically or virtually – it will be important that businesses don’t fall into the trap of thinking work will continue as ‘normal’. Understanding and addressing workplace challenges, new and old, will be essential to ensure your business thrives in the post-pandemic world.
For example; financial stress has been a significant issue that has historically plagued employee productivity in the workplace. According to a recent survey from Perkbox in 2020, of British adults in employment – a staggering 79% reported commonly experiencing work-related stress, with monetary/financial stress being the second most common cause of stress.
To address the challenges of old ways of working, it’s vital that businesses streamline processes and help to eliminate issues like these. In this article, I will highlight three key ways leaders can avoid financial stress in their business.
Build a transparent culture around finances
It’s important to address financial stress in the same manner you would mental, emotional or physical health – by building an environment where people feel comfortable discussing money-related issues. This is particularly important in the case of things like expenses, where personal and professional finance can blur.
To tackle financial stress in the early days of Pleo, it was key to always instil a sense of understanding when it came to money. For example, I would often invite team members into investor meetings to give them an understanding of the business direction and our financials. While this kind of openness has been difficult to repeat as we’ve grown, we’re always looking to implement approaches like this to help support team members with money-related anxieties.
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According to Pleo’s recent YouGov survey of 1000 UK businesses, under one in five (18%) reported having digital processes in place for their expense processes, suggesting many are still reliant on manual, paper-based processes.
The same survey also revealed the toll this has on a business’s workforce, as 30% of UK employees reported having experienced financial loss or stress as a result of dealing with poor expense processes.
If anything, these figures only point to how technology can reduce potentially stress-inducing situations created by money-related issues. As such, businesses should be assessing how automation tools can not only improve the way they run their business, but also the overall satisfaction of their employees.
It’s not uncommon in business for company cards to be reserved for senior team members, leaving others to fend for themselves when buying what they need for their work. In fact, our YouGov survey also found that just 22% of UK businesses currently trust their employees with a company credit card.
Speaking from experience as the leader of a company solving this particular issue, giving employees financial autonomy is vital to ensure they feel empowered in their roles. Through giving this financial independence, employers can set teams up for success while eliminating finance-related stress in their workforce.
Written by Jeppe Rindom, CEO at Pleo