More than half (55%) of respondents to a new survey said that the pandemic had made them more aware of the importance of saving for the future, highlighting a positive shift in people’s attitudes towards their finances.
The findings from Cushon, which we reported on earlier this week, showed 62% of employees would stay in a workplace savings scheme if their organisation automatically enrolled them into one, increasing to 69% if their employer also contributed to it. While one in five expressed uncertainty around what they would do, only about one in 10 said they would definitely leave the scheme – broadly in line with pensions auto-enrolment opt-out rates.
Around half (52%) of those surveyed claimed they would be more likely to save if the money was taken directly out of their pay, while just 11% said they didn’t believe they could currently afford to save.
Cushon’s CEO and founder Ben Pollard believes the government should allow employers to automatically enrol staff into workplace saving schemes as long as there are safeguards in place, such as education around saving versus the repayment of debt, insisting “it’s clear that inertia plays a big part”.
Indeed, the research does indicate that the pandemic has encouraged many people to consider their long-term finances, and that they are now more willing and able to think about saving for the future.
And, looking ahead, it’s not just personal finances that people have become more aware of – they want to safeguard their mental and physical health too. Research carried about by Gazprom Marketing and Trading found that 77% of staff have expressed a desire to return to some kind of office working.
Hybrid working remains the most popular approach, with four in 10 wanting to work from home for two to three days a week, 23% wishing to work remotely on a full-time basis, and 13% preferring a full-time office return.
The findings took into account employees’ mental health, working hours and the challenges presented by a year of working remotely. There is no doubt that these are all factors that need to be considered by employers when supporting their workforce’s overall wellbeing.