13 May 2021

Why financial well-being belongs in the workplace

Workers on desktops

Work and family are the biggest areas that influence our well-being and if we want to improve it, we need to address both areas.

The better our well-being, the more we’re able to bring all our great qualities into both our work and family life. But how does financial wellbeing fit in and why should employers be considering this as part of their strategy?

Financial worry is no small issue

People worry about money. A lot. For some, money can be a constant source of stress. Almost a quarter (21%) of individuals are ‘drowning’ in debt and money worries, according to a survey from the Money Advice Service.

According to the Mental Health Foundation’s 2020 Survey, one-third (32.66%) of UK adults say they are worried about their finances. Just as the true impact of mental health didn’t crystallise until recently, the same can be said of financial wellbeing.  Money is such a big part of our everyday lives that’s never far from our mind’s eye – it’s just not visible to others like physical symptoms like back pain.

Worry is the immortal enemy of focus

A recent PwC survey showed that employees experiencing financial stress are less productive and in worse financial shape than other employees. In fact, 35% of working adults in the U.S. cited health issues caused by financial stress and 48% of respondents said they're distracted by finances at work and in an article published by HR Magazine, almost all UK employees (94%) have money worries, with 77% saying it affects them at work.

Employees are demanding changes to benefits packages

Financial wellbeing is a timeless issue – the stats above show that it affects a large proportion of society and that the impact of worry on work is considerable. But it’s also climbing up the agenda for employees looking to move roles. In the short to medium term, the effects of Covid-19 have made people think more about their financial health and how work contributes.

In the longer term, there’s a shift in what employees demand from work. According to Re:Me research, 71% of employees now feel employers have a social responsibility to them and their wellbeing. More widely, this shift has employees looking for benefits that holistically improve their wellbeing as there’s a growing realisation that improved wellbeing is a catalyst for better outcomes in all areas of life.

Organisations that can tap into this emerging need and provide financial wellbeing benefits that empower individuals to improve their financial situation are likely to find their employer brand strengthened and their retention rates improving.

Jamie Lawrence headshot

Jamie Lawrence

Head of Content at Wagestream.

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