Forty percent of UK employees want to resign despite financial concerns 

  • Organisations risk losing out on talent if they do not embrace new workstyles
  • More than half of employees say they feel exhausted on a given day
  • Retail and hospitality workers are the group most likely to leave, followed by fully remote workers

London, 2 February 2023


Two-fifths of UK employees are considering leaving their current employer despite a volatile economy and uncertain job market, a new Mercer study has found.


Mercer, the global consultancy that delivers advice and solutions that help organizations meet the health, wealth and career needs of a changing workforce, has found that a growing number of employees are looking for new roles driven chiefly by desires for greater work life balance following the pandemic. In its Inside Employee Minds report, Mercer took the views of over 2,000 UK full-time employees and found that employees are increasingly more focused on securing their financial, physical and emotional health than ever before.


Fully remote workers and those working in retail and hospitality industries are the most likely to consider leaving their roles.


Other key findings:


  • Insufficient pay, burnout due to demanding workload, and poor relationships with boss/colleagues were the top three reasons behind employee turnover.
  • Fully remote workers are more likely to consider leaving (47%) compared to all (40%). This is magnified in the more casual labour markets of hospitality and retail (50%) and those paid hourly (46%).
  • Younger employees (18-24 year olds) are feeling the most chaotic (62%), overwhelmed (56%) and exhausted (75%).

Katerina Psychopaida, Mercer Partner and Employee Experience Leader for Europe, said:


“Our Inside Employee Minds report shows the extent to which the world has changed for workers and their priorities following the pandemic and amid a challenging economic climate. We are seeing a shift away from traditional outlooks on work, towards a greater emphasis on one’s physical and mental health.


“As a great number of young employees say they feel overwhelmed and more than half of employees feel exhausted, UK workers are seeking a sustainable approach to work which includes a better work-life balance.


“Organisations returning to pre-pandemic practices risk losing their staff, if they do not embrace a new contract with employees that better supports sustainable health experiences at work.”




Notes to editors:

This study includes 2,021 full-time employees in the United Kingdom working for organisations with more than 250 employees. The study was fielded from 1–17 October 2022.


Jourdan Wong

+44 (0) 20 7178 7492