For Ben Farren, CEO and founder of London-based menswear brand Spoke, offering Nous to his employees offered a smart solution to the urgent issue of the cost-of-living squeeze hurting his staff.
“Personally, my mortgage has tripled in the last few months – there are very few people for whom that’s not going to have quite a sizeable impact on their budget,” he said.
“It’s all feeling quite unpleasant right now and I’m definitely cutting my spending. That’s the direct personal experience of how the squeeze feels.”
After more than a year of brutal price rises and soaring bills, his team was looking for ways to address the pressure on their incomes.
“In terms of how that bubbles up to me, I don’t hear a lot about the underlying squeeze. What arrives on my desk are requests for a raise,” Ben said.
“But those are incredibly hard to meet in a context where customer markets are cool, and capital markets are frozen. My ability to keep pace with rising wage expectations is seriously compromised.”
When Ben discovered Nous, he saw it could help solve this knotty problem. By managing employees’ bills – including energy, broadband and mobile – finding fair deals and handling the switching process, Nous can save households many hundreds of pounds. These savings are many times the size of the cost to employers, resulting in an impressive ROI for companies.
“Something that addresses the cost of living squeeze is obviously very welcome. It helps employees – and it helps in a way that makes things manageable without coming at the price of uncontrollable payroll inflation,” Ben added.
“Offering Nous also demonstrates a level of empathy. When you address the things that people are trying to solve for directly, rather than obliquely through their pay packet, I think you demonstrate some sort of understanding of what they’re grappling with.”
What’s more, Nous is a genuinely universal workplace benefit that helps every employee – and their wider households too. Once a member has signed up, they can invite and manage access for people who they live with, whether that’s flatmates, partners or parents.
For Fran Maspero, Head of Brand at Spoke, the £500 she saved on her bills after getting Nous as a workplace benefit came at the ideal moment.
“I’m doing up bits of my flat so every penny helps at the moment,” she said.
“The bill for internet in my last flat was £68 a month, and now I’m paying more like £20 a month – it’s a substantial amount. Over the course of the year that’s enough for me to do something like choose the tiles I really want in my bathroom.”
As well as the boost to her finances, Fran found a key benefit of Nous was the time it saved her.
“I would say I’m quite an organised person. I like to be on top of stuff, but it’s such a burden,’ she said.
“I shopped around for deals when I moved into my old flat four years ago, and then it was just such a hassle. We ended up with such bad deals because we stayed on the same contracts. The hassle of it was the biggest thing.”
Joining Nous gave Fran the chance to take that nuisance off her plate.
“The main benefit of Nous comes from the fact that I’m quite time poor. I would never have got these savings because I would never have got round to it,” she said.
“The process was really easy. I joined and then immediately got a WhatsApp message with some really simple questions.”
The fact that Nous makes Fran genuinely better off also sets it apart from other workplace benefits.
“Often a perk you get through work actually still costs you money. You might get a discount on something, but it still costs you money. For me I think the most compelling thing is that Nous doesn't cost me anything.”
By adding Nous to Spoke’s suite of workplace benefits, Ben was able to show current and prospective employees that he is committed to a supportive workplace.
“It’s a bit analogous to training,” he said.
“You’re recognising that people have long-term goals that aren’t always immediately solved or addressed simply by more money. That can give you a return in terms of employee loyalty and strong culture that’s way in excess of what you spend on it.”
There's power in numbers, and Nous members get exclusive access to tariffs negotiated directly with providers. This only increases the more the member base grows, so we are always keen to speak to companies who want to make their employees genuinely better off with Nous for Business. Visit www.nous.co/for-business to book a demo.
No-one should be dealing with the cost-of-living crisis all alone. We’re building a new service to liberate households from drudgery and make people’s lives simpler and fairer.