Two-fifths of UK tradespeople (40%) have reportedly seen an increase in their workload since January of this year, of which 10% say the increase has been significant, according to research by Direct Line business insurance.
But despite increased work for some tradespeople increasing business, fuel, material, and transport costs are generally becoming an increasing concern. Over a quarter are taking jobs closer to home due to rising transport costs (28%) or the expansion of low emission zones (25%). Over a fifth (21%) have had to turn down jobs because of supply chain issues. Almost a quarter (24%) say that jobs are taking longer to complete, or that their profit margins have decreased, due to honouring quotes despite increasing material and business costs. Added to that, almost one in ten (9%) say that tool theft has impacted their ability to work.
While industry challenges and the cost-of-living continues to rise, sentiment among tradespeople remains relatively high, with 44% expecting a further increase in their workload over the next six months. Currently, there is a nearly an even split between tradespeople that have seen an increase (40%) and decrease (38%) in their workload, however 62% overall say they have either experienced an increase or no change, despite increasingly difficult market conditions.
Tradespeople have mixed feelings towards the impact of their increased or potentially increased workloads. The largest proportion of tradespeople expecting an increase (39%) in work are enjoying having more work to do, although 27% they are feeling increasingly stressed and anxious about the rise. Over one in ten (12%) have concerns about burnout due to the increased volume of work.
Alison Traboulsi, Product Manager at Direct Line business insurance commented: “Trade based skills are vital to the UK economy, so it’s encouraging to see that many tradespeople remain optimistic and have continued to see a steady or increase in workload this year. That said, market conditions are becoming increasingly challenging, as business costs continue to rise, and the cost-of-living crisis starts to bite. Supply chain issues, rising material, staff, and transportation costs, as well a tool theft are all affecting tradespeople’s ability to work, with many also reporting a decrease in workload this year. “