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Pandemic prompts third of employees to move house

Pandemic prompts third of employees to move house

The pandemic and subsequent UK lockdowns have seen a third (36 per cent) of employees aged 18-34 move house to secure a better quality of life, according to Close Brothers. 

The research found that for the over-55s this figure was just 9 per cent, while the UK average was one in five (21 per cent).

It found that employees in London were most eager to make the change, with 38 per cent moving to get that better quality of life. 

This represents a significantly greater proportion than in other regions, with the East Midlands and the East of England (both at 23 per cent) coming in second. 

The region in which employees were least likely to have made the shift was the North East (9 per cent).

Jeanette Makings, head of financial education at Close Brothers, said: “For years, we’ve been keeping a close eye on the financial wellbeing of UK employees and in the last few years, there are some signs of trending in the right direction. 

“But the impact of the pandemic and the experience through multiple lockdowns have been a catalyst for some significant lifestyle changes and in employees taking steps to improve their mental, physical, and financial health.”

Close Brothers' report titled ‘Expecting the unexpected: a spotlight on preparing for a crisis’, also found that with regards to financial wellbeing, the biggest change employees have made since the pandemic started was keeping a closer eye on day to day spending (63 per cent).

In addition to this, 61 per cent of employees were putting aside more in emergency savings while others were writing or updating a will (20 per cent), saving more into personal pension (19 per cent) and increasing contributions to workplace pensions (16 per cent).

It also showed that 39 per cent of workers planned to move to remote working full time as a result of the pandemic with 30 per cent doing so part time.

Around one in five have decided that they want to reduce the amount of time they spend working (18 per cent), while 14 per cent either have already retrained, or are planning to retrain, for a new career.

Outside of work, the report also looked at significant behavioural change and found three fifths of UK employees were exercising more (61 per cent), meanwhile 58 per cent intended to go out more when possible.

The same number were making a concerted effort to connect more with friends and family with over half (55 per cent) wanting to engage in a healthier diet and focus more on activities to improve wellbeing and mental health.

Makings added: “At this moment in time employees are more focused than ever about the importance of better managing their finances. It is therefore the perfect time for employers to push harder on their financial wellbeing strategies and better support their employees’ financial health. 

“More employees need it and more employees are ready, willing and able to listen. For those organisations doing more to improve their financial wellbeing strategies now, the rewards won’t just be felt by their employees but there will also be tangible benefits to business performance, so it’s a double win.”