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This week is Mental Health Awareness Week here in the UK. From the 9th – 15th May, the Mental Health Awareness Foundation is raising awareness on the impact of loneliness and what effect that can have on our mental health condition. The aim is to offer practical steps on how to address it and tackle loneliness together.

One in four adults feel lonely some or all of the time. There’s no single cause of loneliness or mental health issues, and as everyone is different there is no one solution. The longer we feel lonely, the more we are at risk of mental health problems. Some people are also at higher risk of feeling lonely than others.

Being a business owner and juggling finances, business goals and staff wellbeing can have a significant impact on your mental health.

The Link Between Money and Mental Health

Money worries and mental health have always been linked, and financial wellbeing can have a bearing on your overall mental wellbeing. Being in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis has been significant on many people’s mental wellbeing, with many wondering how they’ll make ends meet with the added strain of rising fuel prices, interest inflation and energy costs.

Being a self-employed business owner has many pros and cons including:

Pros

Choose when and where you work:

Freelancing gives you a level of flexibility to fit around family commitments, childcare and even your own body clock. As long as the work gets done, it doesn’t matter if you do it in the morning or at night, in an office, at home or even in another country.

Choose what you work on:

You call the shots when you’re a freelancer. You can turn down work when you’re too busy, or take on more if you’re looking for extra cash. If you’re lucky to have a steady flow of offers, you can take on the jobs you want, rather than jobs you have to do to make ends meet.

Potentially make more money:

In many lines of work, your hourly rate as a freelancer is going to be much higher than what you would earn in a full-time job.

Cons

No guarantee of work (or money):

Unlike working a regular 9 to 5, it’s not always clear what work you will be able to secure on a weekly basis, so your income could be pretty volatile. Freelance jobs can be like buses – you wait a while, and then three turn up at once. This means you must keep on top of your finances, because they can fluctuate from one month to the next, which can often make people feel anxious.

Potentially make less money:

Freelancing requires a certain degree of self-motivation to go out and earn the money you can, otherwise you can earn less than those employed through a limited company.

Few employment rights and no workplace pension:

Although you don’t often have the benefits that those employed have, you can still control your savings and private pensions so that you can invest in the future. Making sure you have an accountant who can ensure your tax is paid correctly and you’re on top of savings and payments is vital.

Isolation:

A common experience for people who don’t work in a regular workplace environment is that they struggle with being alone during working hours. It can often be days or even weeks of working alone with no human contact, especially for those that also live alone. Many people found working from home during the pandemic difficult for this reason. There’s also no one to discuss your work with or develop ideas as a team when you’re freelance.

If you are struggling with a mental illness, having difficulty dealing with debt or you’re looking for ways to improve your mental wellbeing, it is incredibly important to talk to your GP and seek help from friends and family. Always remember, it’s ok not to be ok.

Managing Money with Your Staff

Employers can take practical measures to help their staff manage their money and help ease a considerable burden on their mental health.

Establishing a savings culture is perhaps the clearest way that businesses can support their workforce. The Money & Pensions Service, in its UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing, states that “a financially healthy nation is good for individuals, businesses and the economy”.

Establishing an environment where people can save more is key. Businesses have been slower to adopt financial well-being solutions than physical or mental health.

There are reasons behind this – offers to staff such as subsidised gym memberships or cycle to work schemes are easily measurable. The impact on staff isn’t as easy to measure when it comes to financial health.

The real impact is shown through salary-linked savings schemes, set up for workers across the UK. This helps build a buffer to cope with unexpected bills through times of economic hardship.

As a result, employers can step up to their responsibility and offer the sorts of services that make it easy for their staff to set money aside, much like with auto-enrolment pension schemes, which is a measurable benefit for both the staff and the business.

Mental Health & Finances

Over one in five Brits suffer from mental health issues due to their financial situation.

Over the past 90 days, in the UK search terms for ‘I can’t afford my bills’ have risen by 400 and ‘I am worried about money all the time’ by 300. These statistics show that finances are having a huge impact on mental health across the country.

According to a study, over a quarter (27%) of Brits struggle to save money due to their financial situation. Over one in five (22%) Brits said that their financial difficulties have had a direct impact on their mental health. Because of this, they have struggled with stress, anxiety and/or depression due to their financial worries.

The research also revealed that Brits are losing sleep due to finance-related stress, with 21% of those studied having difficulty getting their required hours of sleep. Even more worryingly, 18% have struggled to pay their bills.

It’s important for people to feel empowered and in control of their finances, and for the stress of money to be reduced. By having a good financial team around you, especially if you’re a freelancer or run your own business, you can reduce the worry of finances and allow a professional to take the lead.

At Gorilla, we aim to keep everything simple and straight-forward. We offer just one all-inclusive package which covers everything for you personally and your Limited Company. Regardless of your profession or sector, you get the same package at the same price. It’s also not capped on turnover.

We offer a same day response service under our client service guarantee, so you will hear back from your own dedicated accountant the same day as long as you contact us before 3pm. We also offer unlimited support via face-to-face meetings, emails, telephone and Skype video-conferencing.

Above all, we’re a friendly, proactive and experienced team. If you’re unhappy with your current accountancy set-up, and you’re looking to switch accountants, joining Gorilla can help you feel like you are getting the value that your business deserves.

Join us today by clicking here.

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