Concerns about cost of living and pay fuelling resignation plans

A poll by Robert Walters finds nearly half of employees feel they are underpaid for what they do and the need for greater support for homeworkers.

woman working from home


Nearly a half [48%] of professionals feel that their pay is not an accurate reflection of the work that they do – with a further 45% stating they feel underpaid, according to a new survey.

The survey of 6,000 professionals by recruiter Robert Walters found just 5% stated that they had a generous disposable income – with the vast majority (41%) stating that they live sensibly to cover their cost of living – and just over a quarter make enough to warrant savings. Almost a fifth (14%) of white-collar workers live ‘pay cheque to pay cheque’. Eight per cent are resorting to other means to supplement their cost of living.

The survey found a third of white-collar professionals have stated that they are ‘very likely’ to leave their job in the coming months unless more understanding and assistance is directed toward personal matters which impact their work, including the cost of living crisis.

Mental health

When it comes to mental health, 87% are reluctant to give up working from home, with a third stating they want to work from home for at least one day a week. However, 30% said that the long-term working from home has had a negative impact on their mental health – citing lack of physical interaction with the team (69%), inability to separate home & working life (59%) and distractions at home (47%) as the leading reasons.

Toby Fowlston, CEO of Robert Walters, said companies need to engage with and listen to their employees more. He added: “It is an unexpected phenomenon, but we are now starting to hear about fatigue setting in from professionals who tried too hard to go back to their ‘old work life’ of being a work/social butterfly – all whilst trying to maintain the perks of ‘slow living’ when working from home, building in lunchtime walks and personal tasks.

“It is taking us all some time to settle into the new norm…The pressure to ‘balance it all’ in a flexi-world – mixing our pre and post Covid behaviour – is what is causing the general mental health fatigue, and I think senior leaders can be more vocal on this to help take the pressure off.”

The survey also found that 51% of professionals state that it is important that a company’s social values align with their own – citing workers rights (66%), diversity, inclusion & equality (62%), mental health awareness (59%), climate control (34%), political matters (29%), and charitable causes (27%) as the primary values a professional would decline a job offer on.

Meanwhile, new research quantifies the cost of commuting on performance. The data show that a difficult morning commute precipitates ill-effects felt down the line throughout the day. They also found that walking or cycling to work could make a worker more productive.

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