One in ten office workers (14%) admit that they now avoid covering expenses, such as drinks, at work events amid the rising cost of living, according to a new survey.
This is due to delayed reimbursement times and reduced budget.
While one in 10 avoid the expense, 9 percent of employees admitted that even when given a budget, it just doesn’t go far enough to cover necessary costs for social events such as drinks and travel.
On top of this, some workers are asked to spontaneously cover expenses, with 15 percent of respondents stating that this has occurred to them at a work event.
This is according to The Inconvenient Expenses study, from Just Eat for Business, surveyed the nation’s office workers to discover how their organisation handles expenses, what the reimbursement schedule is like, and what workers wish they could improve about the process.
With many of us dealing with the stress of the rising cost of living and trying to navigate a return to the office, it is crucial that employers look to streamline their expense processing procedures, to prevent surprise costs and delayed reimbursement times.
What changes should be made?
The survey revealed that nearly a third (30%) of respondents would like their organisation’s expense process to change, as many workers are frustrated with confusing expenses policies, which often result in slow reimbursement times – if at all.
Given that many are unhappy with the process, it is no surprise that over a fifth (22%) of workers would change the time it takes to submit their expense admin.
Expense processing is too lengthy
Mike Chappell, Co-Founder and COO at Formspal, speaks on the often lengthy process of expense processing, and how this admin time could deter workers from submitting their expenses:
“Concerning expenditure reporting, employees and finance teams alike must deal with a lot of tedious and time-consuming manual labour. It’s impossible to send a request to finance unless it has been reviewed and approved by management, and the finance team must first process the claims and balance the transactions before issuing refunds.
In addition, it doesn’t take into account any exchanges before the final step between the parties. This means there’ll be a delay in reimbursing employees, exacerbating the already existing financial stress for both parties. As a result, employees could be deterred from submitting expenses in the first place, for the wasted time and effort.”
Can the admin time be reduced?
Lucy Cantan, Sales and Partnership Director at Just Eat for Business, weighs in on the polls: “Completing and processing admin for expenditures such as lunch or work dinners can be time consuming for all involved – whether you’re an employer or employee. However, it’s really important that everyone receives what they’re owed and continues to benefit from paid-for meals and travel costs.
“That’s why we encourage businesses to take advantage of schemes like Just Eat Pay, which reduces the hassle of completing and processing expense forms, and means employees and employers alike can focus their efforts elsewhere.”
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview. With a master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.