IT and telecoms businesses and their workers are already being more heavily affected by Brexit than other industries, according to new research carried out by YouGov. Two-fifths (40%) of IT and telecoms workers report that Brexit has already had a negative impact on their business – compared to a third (33%) across other industries.
According to the study, uncertainty over the UK’s exit from the EU is leaving IT and telecoms staff feeling more stressed and anxious (54%), while businesses have been unable to start new projects (43%), make decisions about the direction of the business (42%), or take risks (34%). Two-fifths (39%) also say that the management and leadership of the business are more stressed and anxious. In the past, we’ve published several articles highlighting the importance of well-being at the workplace.
The study questioned 1,000 UK employees about their experiences and concerns around Brexit in the workplace. As the 31 October deadline looms and there is still no clarity over what kind of Brexit UK businesses can expect, the findings indicate that many companies, particularly in the IT industry, are still not able to apply a ‘business-as-usual’ approach to work. In turn, this is impacting the behaviour and outlook of employees.
“It’s more than three years since the EU referendum, and while businesses have shown incredible resilience, they are crying out for certainty and stability in the political landscape,” said David Morel, the CEO and founder of Tiger Recruitment, which commissioned the YouGov study. “Businesses and their employees have to be able to make big decisions, take risks, and experiment in order to grow. Yet, as things stand, Brexit is stopping them from doing this. We’ve reached a state of limbo, which is stifling innovation and growth.”
The study also reveals a higher level of concern in the IT sector about what lies ahead, with half of the sector’s employees (50%) reporting that they are worried about the impact that Brexit will have on their employer’s business in the future, and in turn how this will affect them. For those who are worried, job insecurity is the overriding concern, specifically the potential of stagnating wages (61%), job losses (56%), and fewer opportunities for career progression (48%).
“With the two Brexit factions both resolute in their positions and unable to compromise without losing face, it seems inevitable that the current limbo will go down to the wire,” added Morel. “While I’m confident that businesses will remain resilient whatever the outcome, it is understandable that employees are feeling worried and insecure about the future. Employers must address this issue head on by placing extra focus on employee communication and motivation, to help allay these fears and keep employees engaged throughout the uncertainty.”