Cost of Living Crisis: a Third of Workers Plan to Take on Temporary Work to Top Up Income

29th July 2022

  • A third of workers intend to start doing temporary work on top of their existing job, to earn more as cost of living pressures bite
  • A fifth of those already temping plan to take on more, as soaring prices erode Britons’ spending power
  • Londoners are the most likely to be planning to take up temporary work, followed by people in the North West, according to new research by Indeed Flex

London, 29 July 2022 – Half of UK workers (52%) are already doing temporary work, or are planning to temp, as a direct result of the surging cost of living, according to research by Indeed Flex, the online marketplace for flexible workers.

A national survey of UK workers found that a third (32%) are planning to do temporary work on top of their existing job, as a way to top up their income in the face of sharply rising costs.

Meanwhile, a fifth (19%) of those polled already do temporary work, with 11% planning to take on a few more shifts and 8% intending to do a lot more shifts.

Consumer prices rose by 9.4% in the 12 months to June, with the surge in inflation caused predominantly by the spiking cost of energy, food and fuel.

Flexible work is a quick and easy way for people to top up their income; thousands of employers are looking for extra workers on an ongoing basis, and temp workers can choose shifts that fit around their existing schedule.

Of those already doing temporary work, or those planning to, 69% said topping up their income is their number one reason for wanting to take on extra shifts.

Workers in London are the most likely to take up temping. Nearly a fifth (17%) of those planning to do temporary work as a result of the rising cost of living are in the capital, while 12% are in North West England, 11% in the South East and 10% in the West Midlands.

One in 10 (11%) of those already doing temp work, or planning to, say their number one reason for temping is because they enjoy having the flexibility to choose the days and hours they work. Meanwhile 6% say the pay they earn as a temp beats what they would make in a comparable permanent position, and that this premium is their primary motivator for doing temp work.

Selling old clothing is the most common way people have tried to make extra money on the side, with 49% of workers having done so. Nearly two in five (37%) have also sold furniture or other household goods to make extra cash, and over a fifth (22%) have asked their employer for a pay rise.

Novo Constare, COO and Co-founder of Indeed Flex, said:

“Temporary work has always been popular because of the flexibility it offers, with temp workers having the freedom to choose their own hours, and the luxury of being able to fit their work around their lifestyle.

“However the financial benefits of temping have been thrust centre stage by 2022’s cost of living crisis. As millions of Britons see an increasing proportion of their income swallowed up by the surging cost of living, temping offers an instant way for them to top up their earning power.

“Our research reveals that many workers have sold unwanted clothing and household goods to bring in extra cash, but temporary work is a more reliable and immediate source of income for those who need a financial boost.

“Importantly, temps can choose the hours that suit them, meaning they can fit shifts around an existing part-time or full-time role, or around other life commitments.

“Those taking on extra shifts, or doing temporary work for the first time, are also proving to be a lifeline for businesses struggling to find enough staff to fill vacant roles. Temps enable employers to fill shifts at short notice and cover staff absences, while also providing vital extra support during busy periods.”