25% of businesses had let staff go to help recover costs lost to energy bills
As with employees, businesses are struggling to keep on top of rising energy costs as well, according to data from financial comparison site NerdWallet.
The survey of 500 UK business owners and senior decision makers revealed that just under half (45%) of business owners were worried that they may need to close their business. Only 11% of businesses said they could cope with the rising costs.
The survey asked about measures business owners were taking to try and conserve energy and save money. Some surveyed businesses stated they’d now moved to a hybrid or full-remote work style, with 68% of respondents moving to hybrid working, being in the office for fewer than five days per week (38% with incentives, 30% without) with a further 32% moved to fully remote working.
Staffing relationships was a key factor in the findings. 28% of businesses admitted they had stopped employees charging their devices at work as a measure to conserve energy. More dramatically, 25% of business owners in the survey had let staff go due to energy costs.
With costs continuing to rise in 2022, some businesses were left with no choice but to raise their prices. 43% of respondents in the survey stated that they had already increased their prices as a result of the energy crisis, with a further 8% saying they hadn’t done so yet, but were planning to in the future.
For those who were unable to make up their losses in increased product and service prices, it seems they’ve made budget cuts elsewhere to stay afloat. 43% of those asked in the survey had cut budgets for staff training, and 38% had stopped hiring new staff altogether. 36% said they’d also had to downsize their office to save money.
NerdWallet’s Business Finance Expert, Connor Campbell, commented: “When we conducted this survey, we perhaps expected to see some level of hardship reflected in the results. However, the amount of scaling back and budget cuts laid bare in this survey highlights just how much UK businesses are struggling to get to grips with the energy crisis.
“Although support has been put in place for a set period of time, businesses will need reassurance for the long-term future, so they can budget effectively and decide on their next steps.”