Five top tips on surviving the office Christmas party

Christmas is a time we tend to indulge. It’s not uncommon for many of us to eat a little too much, slack off the gym and have a few more tipples than usual. It’s also a time for celebration, with the annual Christmas party a highlight for many employees who use it as a chance to blow off steam with colleagues, as they reflect on the past year at work.

However, this can come with significant risk. Whilst Christmas parties should be a time to bond with colleagues and have a good time, having a little too much fun could be to the detriment of your career. Last year, a survey conducted by OnePoll revealed that 1 in 3 office workers has done something they regret at a holiday party, while research from The CIPD found that 1 in 10 people know someone from their organisation who has either been disciplined or sacked for inappropriate behaviour.

So, how can you have a jolly time without overstepping the mark or waking up the next morning lamenting, ‘oh, oh, oh’? Here are our top tips to help you survive the office Christmas party and avoid the naughty list:

Stay 2 drinks behind your boss (or the client) at ALL TIMES

When the drinks are flowing it can be easy to lose track of how many you’ve had. However, to avoid any reputational headaches, know your limits and don’t try to keep up. Always be in control and if you start to feel this slipping, drink water and fast – everyone’s tolerances are different so don’t feel the pressure to match others drink for drink. Alcohol causes a loss of inhibitions and affects our decision-making process, which is most likely to trigger something you’ll regret the next day. So, if you’re drinking alcohol, keep to a steady pace and know when to stop.

Don’t get loose lipped

We all like a gossip, especially after a mulled wine or 3. However, remember that while you may be getting on with colleagues famously in that moment in time, it doesn’t mean a throwaway comment won’t come back to bite you. You never know about other relationships within a business or where loyalties lie. Keep to safe topics – after all, the Christmas party is meant to be fun, so don’t add any unnecessary drama into the mix.

Dress appropriately

There’s nothing worse than turning up to a room full of people and feeling out of place. A way to avoid this is to read the invite and sense check any wardrobe decisions beforehand with colleagues. While the odd comedy outfit will add extra merriment, make sure it’s not going to fall flat with senior management.

Put your phone away

Of course, you want to document your fantastic night with your colleagues. However, don’t get too Instagram happy when you’ve had a few. It’s likely colleagues and acquaintances will have a cheeky profile stalk if they’re tagged in photos, so don’t let them see a steady stream of photos showing you enjoying the night a little too much. Take a few choice shots and then put your phone away. You’ll thank yourself in the morning.

Make sure you’re still on form the next day

The morning after the night before can end up being the moment when you regret not booking annual leave like some of your colleagues. But if you’re in work the next day it’s important to plan your day. Whilst employers might be more lenient, they’ll still expect you to work professionally and productively. Plan for meetings, making sure that anything important is scheduled for the afternoon when you’re likely to be more switched on.

The future of FS – 2020 predictions from Software AG

Laura Crozier, Senior Director, Industry Solutions, Financial Services at Software AG, has put together some of her thoughts, exploring the role of integration and automation projects, the drive to the cloud, smart banks and commercial risk prevention.

Clouds on the horizon & lipstick on a pig

Banks have always over-hired and then overfired as the economy rolls through its cycles. Again, today we read of layoffs taking place in all corners of the world – but this time it will be different. The majority of the positions that are being cut will not come back.

A potent combination of flattening yield curves and negative interest rates, trade wars, the election year in the US, Brexit, and fear of economic slowdown, will propel integration and automation projects across the mid- and back-office to reduce costs and increase accuracy permanently. Companies of all sizes have come to the realisation that a good CX needs end-to-end digitalisation, otherwise it’s just “lipstick on a pig.”

Be afraid, be very afraid

Banks will accelerate moving to the cloud and taking on value-add partnerships in response to the Asian titans Alibaba and Tencent. The world’s largest retailer Alibaba owns Ant Financial and Alipay with one billion clients, and Tencent, the world’s largest gaming companies, owns WeChat. They are leading the world in financial services and payments products and have discovered the secret sauce for creating value out of data: Cloud for scalability and AI for perishable insights.

Separately, neither big tech nor banks have this capability. But together, they do – and the West is taking note. Witness the recent announcement of the Citi and Google partnership. And Facebook’s faceplant with virtual currency Libra, saw big tech get a painful lesson in jumping through banking regulatory hoops.

Your bank account will have a brain

With the firehose speed of 5g data transmission, and the ever-increasing sophistication and effectiveness of AI, banks will cease to interact with their retail or commercial clients in a reactive fashion. By analysing cash flows, behaviours and trends, banks will step forward as partners in financial management. They will proactively assess if, for example, your utility bill that will be automatically paid is appropriate given your historical consumption and the weather patterns, and either pay it or flag it accordingly. For commercial clients, banks will proactively offer up credit lines given an analysis of their working capital history versus current requirements.

Banks will also have to sacrifice overdraft fees (forfeiting around $2 billion annual revenue globally) because it will promote stickiness, and because technology will never allow overdrafts to happen.

Better to prevent an accident than pay for one

Rather than shell out for risk events after the fact, insurers will double down as partners in risk prevention and control, particularly with business clients. Commercial customers are much more willing than retail clients to share data, knowing that it can help improve risk control and prevention.

For instance, while an individual might be reluctant to use a wearable to share biometric information with a health insurer, companies will have less qualms insisting that their fishery, construction, or steel workers wear wearables to prevent injuries in high-risk situations.

The FLA’s Priorities for 2020 – an agenda for the incoming Government

The Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) has identified three improvements that the incoming Government must adopt to transform customer protection in the consumer credit market, and strengthen the growth of a sustainable and productive economy.

Priorities for 2020 and Beyond highlights the fact that the 45 year old Consumer Credit Act (CCA), which underpins every consumer credit transaction in the UK, is failing consumers because not only does it require lenders to send old fashioned and severely worded letters to those in financial difficulty, but it actually delays how quickly lenders can step in to offer those customers more time to make payments.

The CCA has also not kept up with the kind of innovation in the motor finance sector that could help to increase the uptake of low emission vehicles. As currently drafted, the Act makes it unnecessarily complex to finance a vehicle and its charging point in the same transaction.

Finding the right finance at the right time is vital for small businesses to grow and thrive, but the reality for owners is that the search for finance often starts at the end of the working day. The UK’s patchwork of information needs to be streamlined into one single, intuitive source that can diagnose the type of finance needed, signpost where to find it, and provide links to local growth hubs where the quality of business advice is consistent across the country.

Commenting on the publication of the FLA’s Priorities for 2020, Stephen Haddrill, Director General of the FLA said: said: “Government should reform the CCA urgently, rather than continuing to turn a tin ear to those in financial difficulty, or those trying to help them. Consumers need to be given a credible, firm promise of legislation early in the new Parliament; legislation that will deliver protections appropriate for the 21st century.

“Although there is no shortage of online business advice, it’s less clear whether a small business owner could find, in one sitting, all of the information needed to decide on the appropriate finance for their circumstances. Remedying this would be a great step to improving UK productivity.”

Is My Export Business Ready For Brexit?

Brexit is going to pose challenges for anyone who deals with members of the EU. Read more to find out if your export business is ready.

A lot of our clients have asked us how Brexit is going to affect their export business, and what they can do to prepare for it. So we’ve put together this handy guide. Remember, this is only for exporting goods to the EU. If your business also exports to Northern Ireland, or if you import goods from the EU, you’ll need to check out our other articles.

Step 1 – EORI Numbers

An EORI number, or Economic Operator Registration and Identification number, is required by all firms who move goods in or out of the EU. If you don’t have one, you may end up having to pay extra fees, and you may end up with delays or storage charges from HMRC.

EORI numbers are 12 digits long, and if you’re registered for VAT it will include your VAT registration number.

If you’ve already got an EORI number that starts with GB, you’re good to go: you can keep using it. If not, you’ll need to get one from the UK Government website. The process only takes 5 or 10 minutes, but you do need to make sure you have a few details before you start.

You also need to make sure your importer has an EORI number. If you’re not sure, check with the customs authority from their country.

Step 2 – The Export Process

When it comes to export compliance, you first need to decide who is going to handle the process for you. You can do it yourself, or you can hire someone else to do it on your behalf.

If you do it yourself, you’ll need to carefully follow the instructions from HMRC. The process involves a customs declaration and can be quite complicated. If you decide to go down this route, make sure you check the requirements.

If you’d rather have someone else do it for you, you can hire a customs broker or a specialist freight handler. There are specific rules as to who is allowed to act on your behalf, so make sure you read the list of customs agents before you sign a contract.

Then you need to see if you can use the Common Transit Convention (CTC) for your goods. This offers a streamlined process which removes some of the administrative burden, and can cut down on some of the export fees, but there are some restrictions. The CTC guidelines lay this out very clearly, so check if you apply.

Step 3 – Taxes, Duty, Licenses & Certificates

Different types of goods will incur different fees for the importer. They will also affect the various licenses and certificates that you need to get, especially for things like:

Alcohol & tobacco

Certain types of oils

Controlled goods like firearms

Foods, plant seeds & manufactured goods

Live animals & animal products

Chemicals, drugs & waste


Most of these products require extra attention, so make sure to check the specific compliance documents for your industry.

Step 4 – VAT

If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, you won’t be able to use HMRC’s VAT online services to claim a VAT refund from an EU member state. You’ll have to use the individual process for the country you’re exporting to.

This also applies for unclaimed expenses you had before Brexit.

The European Commission has a good summary of EU country specific information on VAT which you should check out.

If you sell digital services to EU customers, you won’t be able to use the old system for VAT; you’ll have to register for VAT (or VAT MOSS) in the individual member state. The European Commission page has the information you need.

Step 5 – Transporting The Goods

If you decide to transport the goods to or through Europe yourself, you need to make sure you comply with the rules.

There’s quite a heavy burden in terms of what you or your driver needs to carry:

Operator licenses

Vehicle permits

Valid passports

Driver’s licences

Mixed load or restricted load permits

Export documents

Insurance documents

Further Help & Advice

Fortunately, there are lots of places you can go for help and advice on preparing your export business for Brexit.

The UK Government has a dedicated Brexit phone number – 0300 3301 331 (Monday to Friday)

Your local Growth HUB has free support, advice and sources of finance

The Business Support Helpline for England has a live chat

A good accountant will be able to offer you compliance and business advice

Leeds-based financial recruiter launches specialist credit control division

Leeds-headquartered financial search and selection consultancy Woodrow Mercer Finance has launched a new division specialising in the recruitment of credit control professionals.

Associate director Natalie McGregor, commented: “Over the last two years, our entry level finance recruitment arm has gone from strength to strength and this new division is a natural extension to that. We identified a real demand for a dedicated team able to fill credit control positions from assistants up to manager and director level, while also delivering the client service and professionalism for which we are renowned.

“Credit control is about so much more than just making sure you get paid. An effective credit control professional will ensure that your figures add up and your invoicing is accurate, as well as being one of the most regular points of contact with your customers, making it a vital function within any business. A huge number of SMEs and corporates in Yorkshire are currently looking for the right person for this role, and we believe there is an opportunity for us to establish ourselves as specialists in this niche area.”

Credit control specialist Jodie Lazenby has joined the firm to manage the new division across Woodrow Mercer Finance’s offices in Leeds and Hull, working alongside Georgia Dutton. They will focus on the search and selection of entry level positions through to senior management roles within credit control throughout Yorkshire, the Humber and the North West.

Jodie has ten years’ experience within the financial services sector, mainly within the insurance industry, and moved into the recruitment sector two years ago.

“With a background in financial services as well as having a proven track record of building business within specialist areas of recruitment, Jodie has the skills we need to drive this new initiative. He understands our ethos of building long-term relationships with clients and brings enthusiasm and ambition to the role,” comments Natalie. “Already, our new offering is being well-received by clients and we expect it to grow quickly over the next six months.”

Jodie comments: “Having previously worked for a large, generalist recruitment agency, I was keen to hone my skillset and become a specialist within the financial recruitment sector. Woodrow Mercer Finance ticked all the boxes in terms of having an outstanding reputation in the market and providing a platform for me to develop professionally. This is a fantastic opportunity to work with some exceptional individuals and I am really looking forward to playing a key part in the growth and success of the new credit control division.”

Woodrow Mercer Finance was formed in 2016 when long-established Leeds financial consultancy FDYL formed a joint venture with Birmingham-based recruiter Woodrow Mercer to expand its financial recruitment nationally.

The £2.6m turnover firm offers a full range of specialist financial consultancy and recruitment services from the search and selection of portfolio finance directors and financial controllers to full-time interims and permanent FDs and FCs. The firm also has a division providing entry level and part/newly qualified staff.

Premium products defy UK export slide

British-made luxury goods, sports and leisure equipment and homeware exports grew consistently during the first three quarters of 2019, outstripping the performance of overall UK manufacturing exports which fell.

The trend was driven by resilient consumer confidence in key export markets in Europe, North America and the Middle East.

The Lloyds Bank International Trade Index, based on data from Lloyds Bank Commercial Bank in partnership with IHS Markit, is a quarterly report that brings together export growth and supply chain indicators to provide insight on conditions for UK exporters.

For July to September, the Index measured a reading of 46.5 for new manufacturing export orders, down from 46.9 in the second quarter and the lowest for almost seven years (Q2 2012). A reading of above 50 indicates growth, while one below 50 signifies contraction.
However, exports of other manufacturing* goods – including luxury items such as jewellery, sports and leisure equipment and homeware – bucked the trend, posting an Index reading of 52.3 in Q3.

This follows readings of 53.2 and 51.5 in the first two quarters respectively, making other manufacturing the only manufacturing export category measured by the Index to have new order growth throughout the year to date. Alongside pharmaceuticals, it was the only manufacturing category to grow during Q3.

Accounting for the findings, separate research[1] from IHS Markit revealed that between July and September consumer spending rose in six of the top ten overseas markets for exports such as sports gear and jewellery – France, Germany, Ireland, the US, the UAE and Saudi Arabia – propping up demand for some the UK’s most loved brands.

Lloyds Bank’s research follows a recent report from trade body Walpole that found the UK’s luxury goods exports reached £38 billion in 2017, compared to £25 billion in 2013.

Gwynne Master, managing director and global head of trade for Lloyds Bank Global Transaction Banking, said: “This year manufacturing exports have suffered as a result of international trade tensions and a slowdown in global economic growth, so it’s encouraging to see the pull of Brand Britain driving overseas sales of premium goods.

“Manufacturers of these products have benefitted from favourable sterling exchange rates and a reputation for quality associated with UK exports. Robust consumer confidence in key overseas markets has also translated into consistent new order growth.

“Exporters are, however, operating in a challenging environment, and we will continue to be by the side of firms seeking to seize opportunities abroad – whether that’s by providing insight to identify the best markets for products and services, or through specialist finance to help them prosper in international markets.”

Twelve days of Christmas returns, what will Knowledge Bank give to you?

The UK’s largest criteria search system Knowledge Bank will next week, and for the second year running, launch its hugely popular ‘12 Days of Christmas’ campaign, which offers fantastic prizes to both existing subscribers and to those taking trials during this time.

Prizes include two tickets to a Manchester United home game, a £150 Ticketmaster voucher and a two-night break with hot tub and prosecco session (for full list see below). Each of the 12 Days of Christmas has been sponsored, either by one of Knowledge Bank’s lenders, service partners or our brilliant trade press publications, who have each offered a prize for the daily giveaway.

The campaign will start on Monday, 2nd December and will run for twelve working days throughout December, finishing on Tuesday December 17th.

A winner will be drawn at 5pm each weekday throughout the campaign. The daily winners will be announced on social media and receive a follow up email notifying of their win.

Nicola Firth, CEO of Knowledge Bank said: “Our ‘12 Days of Christmas’ campaign was a huge success last year and it’s great to be able to launch it again this year, with some really fantastic prizes on offer. It’s good to have a bit of fun at this time of year and also to be able to give a little back to our brokers, whether they are long time users of the system or coming to try for the first time.

“Of course, we have to thank our sponsors for their support again, it is them that have made it all possible, and they have really come up trumps. We’re feeling festive here at Knowledge Bank and we wish everyone good luck in the first draw on Monday.”

12 Days of Christmas sponsors and prizes:

  • 2nd December – A case of wine, Norton Home Loans
  • 3rd December – A set of Apple AirPods, United Trust Bank
  • 4th December – Lunch with Robyn Hall and Matt Bond, Mortgage Introducer
  • 5th December – Fortnum & Mason Hamper, Vida Homeloans
  • 6th December – Two tickets to a Manchester United home game, Financial Reporter
  • 9th December – ‘Up at the O2 Experience for Two’, Bluestone Mortgages
  • 10th December – Lunch for two with wine at La Goccia at Petersham Nurseries in Covent Garden, Bridging & Commercial
  • 11th December – A wine hamper, Connect for Intermediaries
  • 12th December – Track Driving day to value of £100, Landbay
  • 13th December – £150 Ticketmaster voucher, Foundation Homeloans
  • 16th December – Two tickets to a Crawley Town FC home game, One Mortgage System
  • 17th December – A 2-night break, with prosecco and 45 minute hot tub spa, Air Group

Top Tips for Enforcing your CCJ

Customer on-boarding – think ahead! Make sure you have enough information when opening your customer accounts. i.e. details of any property they own, where they live, contact details etc.

By Kalpesh Patel, Debt Collection Legal Executive with Wright Hassall LLP.

When on-boarding a new customer, it’s easy to jump straight into trading without gaining the vital information necessary to protect you should they ever become bad payers. Having a strong process to confirm who you are trading with and their potential assets, could save you a lot of money and headache further down the line!

When trading with a company, it is essential that you are aware of the legal entity (i.e. a company, sole trader, partnership etc) you are doing business with. Numerous companies ‘trade as’ a marketing or brand name and have a completely different legal name. We suggest requesting the company registration number during the on-boarding process. This is a unique number issued by Companies House when a limited company or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) is incorporated. This unique number will allow you to establish who you are trading with and who you should be invoicing, which will be extremely useful in the event that you are required to take them to Court for non-payment.

Making a note of your customers assets is also crucial, especially if you are lending money. We would suggest requesting information in relation to homeownership, vehicles, machinery etc. Even ensuring that your contact details for the customer are up to date can save you time and money in tracing the customer later down the line.

Taking your non-paying customers to Court and obtaining a CCJ is only half the battle. Often you will need to take steps to enforce the Judgment to obtain payment. Once Judgment is obtained, act quickly – timing is everything! Often non-paying customers will have several creditors. You need to get in there first before other creditors and make payment of your debt a priority for the Debtor!

There are many options when it comes to enforcing your CCJ. However, in all circumstances we would recommend acting quickly. If your debtor is concerned with their credit rating being tarnished, one option is to remind them that if the CCJ is paid within one calendar month it will be removed from the Register of Judgments by the court, meaning that it will not appear on their credit report. This can often be enough to promote payment in full.

However, if the threat of a bad credit rating is not enough to encourage payment of your CCJ, there are many enforcement options available to you.

Writ of Control
One option available to you when enforcing your CCJ, is obtaining a Writ of Control. If the CCJ exceeds £600, instructing High Court Enforcement Officers (“HCEO”) can be extremely effective. The HCEO are private officers who are instructed to attend your debtor’s property and seize assets to the value of the CCJ. This is where your customer knowledge from the on-boarding process will come in handy i.e. potential assets the HCEO can seize. The HCEO have more enforcement powers than court bailiffs and get paid based on their collections. It has become apparent from our previous successes with this approach that just a visit from a HCEO along with the threat of taking control of goods, will often results in full payment or a payment plan being offered in circumstances where debtors have otherwise ignored all correspondence.

Charging Order
Even if your CCJ is being repaid by monthly instalments, you are still within your rights to secure the CCJ by way of a Charging Order (if your debtor owns a property). A Charging Order secures the CCJ against the debtor’s property meaning that if the debtor attempts to re-mortgage or sell their property, you will be informed. Obtaining a Charging Order would also mean that you are classed as a secured creditor in the event that your debtor become insolvent. Another point to note is that a Charging Order can be obtained in conjunction with another enforcement option, therefore we would strongly recommend this option in the first instance if you are aware that your debtor is a homeowner to ensure that your charge is registered prior to any other creditors.

We would strongly recommend instructing solicitors to obtain a Charging Order. There are several important steps that need to be followed correctly and within the necessary timeframes including an application to the Land Registry. If an error is made at any stage of the Charging Order process, there is a risk that the Charging Order application be dismissed or that your debt is not secured against the property.

Attachment of Earnings
If your debtor is an individual it can be difficult to pursue your CCJ due to the restrictions put in place to protect individuals. However, an Attachment of Earnings takes the repayment responsibility away from the debtor and allows for deductions to be taken from their salary to repay the CCJ. We have found on numerous occasions that debtors are more inclined to begin repayments directly with us when they are faced with the risk of their employers being contacted regarding their debt.

Take legal advice
Pursuing your unpaid invoices through your own credit control process will generate payment from a lot of non-paying clients, however with the more difficult debts, instructing a specialist debt recovery firm confirms to your debtors that you are serious and willing to pursue them for the money you are owed. With debtor’s that are experiencing cash flow problems and so juggling invoices month to month, instructing a third party to pursue the debt, will often ensure your invoice is higher on their priority list.

When enforcing your CCJ, we would strongly recommend that you obtain legal advice.


October sees shake-up in brokers’ criteria searches

New figures from criteria search specialist Knowledge Bank show a shake-up in the most common criteria searches performed by brokers in October. Changes were seen in the residential, equity release and buy to let categories.

In the equity release sector the new, most common, search was for ‘additional borrowing’ followed in second place with ‘ad-hoc payments on additional borrowing’. This suggests a heightened desire for borrowers to be able to unlock more funds whilst keen to maintain control over repayments.

The desire for people to unlock the equity in their homes continues to be strong but feedback supporting these statistics suggests that borrowers are looking far more closely at not only how much they can raise but how easily they can manage the monies raised by their homes. This is further supported by the fact that the fourth and fifth most popular searches were related to whether interest payments were allowed. This suggests that even at this pre-application stage borrowers are asking brokers to search for a lender who will let them make lower monthly repayments.

Within residential searches brokers have, for the first time, been searching for lenders who will only leave a ‘soft footprint at the decision in principle stage’. With ‘defaults registered in the past three years’ being a fellow top five search last month, this clearly suggests that brokers are searching more often and more widely to place clients with past credit problems and don’t want the search process itself to lower the success of an application.

Within the Buy to Let sector brokers have been looking for lenders who would consider ‘first time landlords’, making this the most popular search performed during the entire month, the first time this has happened since July. Once again, anecdotal feedback underpins this result with brokers reporting a continuing trust in bricks and mortar as a long-term investment and property strategy.

Meanwhile, there was more change in the bridging sector with searches for regulated bridging losing the top spot it had held for the past two months to searches for the minimum loan amount.

Additionally, in the commercial sector we saw searches for mixed-use properties, i.e. part commercial, enter the top five searches for the first time. As the commercial sector continues to develop there are constant signs of innovation from lenders in considering property types.

The Knowledge Bank criteria activity index is unique in that it reveals brokers’ activity in trying to meet the loan aspirations of their clients. The data produced by Knowledge Bank shows the cases brokers are trying to place and so offers a unique viewpoint on demand as well as supply. As the largest mortgage criteria search system in the UK, Knowledge Bank holds almost 100,000 criteria from over 200 lenders and reported that there were almost 30,000 changes to mortgage lending criteria in the first half of 2019.

Nicola Firth, CEO of Knowledge Bank said, “It’s been a month of change in criteria searching and we have seen movement in several of the lending categories over the past month. This is an indication of just how difficult a job mortgage brokers have in satisfying the ever-changing needs of their clients.

“The mortgage sector continues to show high levels of fluidity and these results show that different product types rise and fall in popularity from month to month. Brokers occupy an absolutely crucial space in the mortgage market as they have to balance the desires of borrowers with almost daily changes to lending criteria. As a result, to get the best deal for clients – and ensure that they are meeting regulatory requirements – it’s vital that brokers keep pace with movements in the market and ensure they’re using a tool with up to date product knowledge.”

UK adults reach ‘boiling point’ 156 times a year on average

A new study by CABA, the charity supporting the wellbeing of chartered accountants and their families, has found that in the UK, adults reach ‘boiling point’ an average of 3 times per week – a total of 156 times a year.

The average adult will then spend 91 hours a year trying to cool off, taking 35 minutes at a time to reduce the pressure.

The study, which polled 2,000 consumers across the UK, looks at some of the most common reasons people reach boiling point, as well as the way the body reacts to unbearable amounts of pressure and the techniques people use to release it.

Of those polled, 27% will experience symptoms such as getting hot and sweaty when facing immense pressure, while 25% will start shaking. Almost 50% will come down with a headache, 20% experience a feeling of a physical weight on their shoulders, and 30% suffer with heart palpitations. 1 in 4 want to scream and pull their hair out.

The findings come as part of CABA’s ‘Drop the pressure’ campaign, which aims to highlight and tackle levels of stress, primarily among millennial accountants. Today (Tuesday 12 November) CABA has installed a pop-up venting booth, called ‘The Venting Machine’, in Jubilee Place at Canary Wharf. Pop down have a vent and to learn how to reduce your pressure.

The study found that almost half (45%) of people take out their frustrations on a partner, 14% on their friends, and 1 in 10 said they are unkind to strangers or frontline customer service staff.

Richard Jenkins, psychologist and spokesperson for CABA, said: ‘Almost all of us feel some kind of stress or pressure every day, but the fact that the British public are reaching boiling point 3 times a week is a cause for concern and a sign of serious stress. The symptoms of building pressure and long-lasting stress have a significant impact on a person’s wellbeing and over a long period can lead to burn out. Recognising when you are reaching ‘boiling point’ is key to making positive changes to managing your mental wellbeing.’

Jobs and workload came out as the biggest causes of a build-up of pressure in modern life, followed by finances and being too self-critical.

But it’s not just the bigger problems causing Brits worry. When pressure gets too much, many can be tipped over the edge by tiny inconveniences.

1 in 5 surveyed have ‘burst’ after a delay on public transport, and 36% have snapped at someone being rude to them. Other things that bring adults to boiling point include technology not working properly (26%), having to keep repeating yourself to someone (25%) and not getting enough sleep (37%).Despite the negative associations with stress and pressure, nearly 1 in 3 Brits think that they work more productively when they have lots on and are working to demanding deadlines. Of those polled, 50% felt like they deal with stress in a ‘healthy’ way, through things like counting to 10, going for a walk, or forcing a smile.

Brits’ top 10 ways to release pressure:

  • Going for a walk
  • Laughing with someone
  • Listening to music
  • Having a cup of tea or coffee
  • Taking some time alone
  • Venting to someone
  • Taking a bath
  • Doing some exercise such as going for a run or playing sport
  • Reading a book
  • Playing with / spending time with a friend

Jenkins added: ‘Almost half of those surveyed felt like the reason they couldn’t cope was due to having so much on their mind. This is an issue facing all of society as we all have to juggle more demands on our time.

‘However, it’s important to remember that success is not dependent on how busy you are. Individuals need to recognise building pressure and high levels of stress and know how to recognise their personal limit and when to take action. The first step is to talk to someone before it gets too much, be it to a colleague, friend or family member or a trusted professional.’

The findings come as part of CABA’s Drop the Pressure campaign, which aims to highlight and tackle levels of stress, primarily among millennial accountants. Yesterday (12 November 2019) CABA installed a pop-up venting booth, called ‘The Venting Machine’, in Jubilee Place, Canary Wharf. The experiential campaign saw XXX accountants and London city workers visit the booth to let off some steam.