Skip to main content

Survey analysis

Fast 50 Insight Report 2022

Explore the full report

Survey analysis


We interviewed CEOs, CFOs and other C-suite leaders from across the UK tech high growth ecosystem about challenges facing their business this year. How are they meeting these challenges?

Inflation is on the minds of many company leaders this year, with almost 60% of our survey respondents saying the rising cost of living is having an impact on their business.

More than two thirds of companies have increased wages or given additional bonuses to help staff navigate rising costs. In addition, some have introduced the option for staff to be paid more frequently – weekly or fortnightly – to help with budgeting. Others mentioned giving one-off payments and sending a free heated blanket to all employees to help them manage the rising cost of energy.

Fintech firm ManyPets, which specialises in pet insurance, is one company that has taken a proactive approach to help staff manage the rising cost of living.

The London-based company, which has 614 staff, is offering all permanent employees with at least six months’ service access to an interest-free loan of £250 to £3,000 to support them if they are facing short term financial strain. ManyPets is loaning the money directly, with staff repaying the money directly from their salary via payroll, across a period of up to 12 months.

“We appreciate that from time to time our team may need a little help with unexpected finances. We want to be able to provide them with support if this happens – whether it’s used to pay for fixing a car, paying an unexpected bill, or clearing a lingering debt. We ensure the funds are accessed as quickly as possible,” says Luisa Barile, chief financial officer at ManyPets.

Many respondents said the option for hybrid ways of working, with the ability to work from home as well as the office, is the benefit most valued by employees. An overwhelming 90% of companies are offering flexible working hours. Some, including tech firms Elvie and Wonde, have even implemented a four-day week or a nine-day fortnight to boost staff satisfaction. Both companies say the move away from the standard five-day week has been “incredibly popular” and effective for hiring and retention.

Meanwhile a fifth are giving staff the option to work from anywhere in the world. The option to work flexible hours away from an office gives staff the freedom to choose how they structure their day, and save on commuting costs and improve mental health.

Two thirds of survey respondents said they are struggling to hire talent, and 40% are struggling to retain talent, so the option for staff to work with flexibility is key to retaining staff. Companies are finding it particularly difficult to recruit software engineers, data scientists and sales people. One said it had raised its engineering salaries by 30%.

However, not all companies are sold on the idea of remote working. Around 2.5% of respondents said they do not offer the option for staff to work away from the office because they believe it does not encourage collaboration.

One of these is Bristol-based investment service Wealth Club. Alex Davies, founder of Wealth Club, said the company is 100% office based to make it easier to innovate and collaborate. He adds there is very low staff turnover, so he does not believe remote working is enough to retain staff alone.

“It is hard to train new people and retain your culture when running a business remotely. The vast majority of employees were very eager to return to the office after the COVID-19 pandemic. I believe the biggest benefit you can give your employees is control over their own destiny – don't over manage them and don't stand in their way.

“Make sure other people aren't standing in their way to stop them progressing. I want everyone in my business to feel like an owner of the business (rather than an employee) and in fact everyone who has been in the company for at least two years has share options in the business,” says Alex.

While there is clearly no one right or wrong way to navigate the current economic climate, the UK Tech Fast 50 community continues to bring an agile approach to overcoming obstacles and managing unforeseen challenges. And one thing is clear, it’s working. This year’s cohort of Fast 50 businesses represent the tenacity and innovation of the UK tech sector with a collective average growth rate of 4,568% and total revenues in 2021/22 of £992 million, and collectively employ over 16,300 people in the UK.

Did you find this useful?

Thanks for your feedback

If you would like to help improve further, please complete a 3-minute survey