Career Switch to Meet Cost-of-Living Crisis

Cost-of-living crisis forces a quarter of the British workforce to change careers.

Productivity platform ClickUp has released a major study revealing the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on the UK’s workforce. It found that 26 per cent (7.7m million) of people are planning to change jobs as a direct result of the crisis. With 68 per cent of these people looking to do so within the next 6 months, the UK is set to face unprecedented upheaval as people look for better paying jobs.

The data reveals how British workers are being forced into this position, with 88 per cent (26.1 million people) unsure whether their current job can sustain them through the cost-of-living crisis. Significantly, 42 per cent (12.5m) say it has put a lot of pressure on them to earn more. The top drivers for this sentiment were the rising cost of energy (31 per cent), the rising cost of everyday living goods (30 per cent), and wages not rising fast enough (16 per cent). The recent sharp drop in the value of the pound was also cited by 4 per cent of people.

In addition, the data offers an insight into how businesses can proactively manage the issue of workers leaving for higher paid jobs, establishing a link between those who are best protected from the cost-of-living crisis and those working in highly productive organisations. Ultimately, the more productive businesses are, the more profitable they will be, and the more they can pay their staff.

“The cost-of-living crisis will significantly impact employee turnover as people will look for higher paying jobs to try and offset the higher costs they are faced with,” said Natasha Wallace, International People Operations Partner, at ClickUp. “Retaining and attracting top talent is now an even higher priority for businesses across the country. Offering competitive pay is increasingly more important, however in order to do so these businesses need to be as efficient and profitable as possible, which is driven by improved productivity. A more productive workplace also enables employers to further invest in and empower employees; for example, financial and wellbeing workshops, enhanced benefits, and career development, which can all help manage the concerns around the cost-of-living crisis.”

Britain is set for high levels of worker turnover and potential worker shortages. ClickUp’s research reveals that some people are looking for higher paying jobs within their same industry or skillset, while others are looking to leave their field entirely to start a new career.

Businesses in the IT and hospitality industries are set to feel the most disruption in general – each with 39 per cent of their workforces saying they plan to change jobs. Those with employees working as drivers (36 per cent), in business services (33 per cent) and construction (33 per cent) will also be significantly affected. Of these people, 44 per cent of IT professionals are looking for roles in the same field, indicating a relatively high degree of staff turnover within the industry, compared to only 20 per cent of hospitality workers.

However, this still leaves a significant number of IT professionals wanting to leave their role or field entirely, with 16 per cent of those looking for higher paid jobs seeking managerial and other senior positions and 11 per cent considering becoming finance professionals. Yet this pales in comparison to hospitality, which could see an exodus of employees moving away from the industry, with healthcare and social work (20 per cent) and administrative roles (17 per cent) their most likely destinations.

A major difference between those who are looking for better paid jobs as a result of the cost-of-living crisis, and those who aren’t, is whether they work in a highly productive organisation. Of those who believe their employer ranks high in productivity, 57 per cent say they are not looking for a higher paid job, which is 11 per cent above the national average of 46 per cent. This drops to 39 per cent (7 per cent below the national average) for those who believe their employer ranks low in productivity.

Natasha Wallace commented: “The cost-of-living crisis is significantly reshaping the UK workforce and what candidates are looking for in new roles. People are revaluating their current jobs on a massive scale; however, businesses can proactively manage this. There is a clear link between high productivity and higher wages; by directly addressing and improving their own productivity, businesses can ultimately increase employee satisfaction and begin to pass the financial benefits on to their employees should they wish to do so.”

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