3 in 5 workers feel stressed due to the rising cost of living

A new study by Acas has found that 3 out of 5 British workers (63%) feel stressed due to the rising cost of living.

Acas commissioned YouGov to ask employees in Britain about whether they feel stressed due to the rising cost of living.

The poll also found that just over a third (36%) of employees in Britain do not feel stressed.

Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews, said:

"The cost of living pressures are having a huge impact on many people's lives at the moment and our poll reveals that a substantial proportion of workers are feeling stressed as a result.

"Employers that support their employees' mental health at work will be able to spot the signs, help manage them and create an environment where staff can openly talk about anything that is causing them stress. Offering practical tips such as signposting to financial advice can also help.

"Employees should also look after their own mental health and have some coping strategies to help manage stress. Acas has advice that can help to avoid problems building up and lead to improved morale at work."

Acas advice for employers on managing staff mental health includes:

  • be approachable, available and encourage team members to talk to you if they're having problems
  • keep in regular contact with your team to check how they are coping
  • respect confidentiality and be calm, patient, supportive and reassuring if a staff member wants to have a chat about their mental health
  • clearly communicate the internal and external support available to staff
  • look after your own mental health and get support if you feel under more pressure than usual – this support could be a colleague at work, a mental health network or a counsellor
  • consider offering practical help such as signposting to financial advice or bringing advice providers into work

Acas advice for workers to support their own mental health and wellbeing includes:

  • talk to people you work with or friends about how you're feeling
  • speak to your manager about how you're doing and your situation
  • reflect on what helps you feel more positive and what does not
  • make time for activities you enjoy
  • check with your employer on what support is available at work

Read Acas's full advice on health and wellbeing

Media enquiries

Contact the Acas press office

Background notes

1. Acas commissioned YouGov to poll employees in a representative sample of British businesses. The survey was carried out online and the total sample size was 1,014 employees in Great Britain. Fieldwork was undertaken between 12 January and 18 January 2023. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc and have been weighted and are representative of British business size.

2. Participants were asked: "To what extent, if at all, do you feel stressed due to the rising cost of living?"

The results were:

  • very stressed: 15%
  • fairly stressed: 47%
  • not very stressed: 29%
  • not at all stressed: 7%
  • don’t know: 1%
  • total stressed: 63%
  • total not stressed: 36%

3. Acas runs training courses for employers on managing mental health at work