44 Percent of Employees Worry About Personal Finances at Work

Atlanta — Aug. 1

More than four in 10 (44 percent) American full-time workers say they worry about personal finances during work hours. And what should be of a concern to employers looking to improve engagement and productivity, 29 percent of American full-time workers recently said they spend time dealing with their personal finances during work hours, and of those, 46 percent spend an average of 2-3 hours per week at work dealing with their financial issues. The financial well-being of employees affects both their health and productivity. Employers who adopt financial wellness benefits and programs help employees ease financial stress and be more productive, which ultimately improves the company’s bottom line.

Those are among the findings of a white paper released by e-commerce retailer Purchasing Power. “Financial Wellness: Addressing the 9 to 5 Impact of 24/7 Financial Stress” uses proprietary and industry research to explore the financial wellness of American workers.

Responding to a nationwide survey, 44 percent of those who are employed or whose spouse is employed full-time report they are much or somewhat better off financially today than they were one year ago. Yet, 28 percent have trouble meeting monthly household expenses and 44 percent say they don’t have at least $2,000 in emergency savings for unexpected expenses. The nationwide survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Purchasing Power from June 20-24, among 2,048 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, of whom 1,029 are employed full-time or whose spouse is employed full-time.

In the same survey, those who are employed full-time were asked how their finances affect them at work in terms of worrying and spending time dealing with financial issues. Their answers suggest that financial concerns can impact their focus and productivity at work:

Forty-four percent of full-time employees indicate they worry about their personal finances during work hours.

Forty-six percent of full-time employees who spend time at work dealing with personal finances say that on the average they spend 2-3 hours per week at work dealing with personal finances.

“Stress over money takes both a mental and physical toll on workers, impacting health-related costs and reducing productivity by a significant number. Employees’ financial problems become the employer’s problems as well,” said Richard Carrano, president and CEO of Purchasing Power. “When employers help employees with their financial wellness, it pays off. Employees experience a better financial well-being and feel less stress. For employers, the result is productive workers who are engaged and focused, and an increased bottom line,” he said.

To address their employees’ financial well-being, employers are offering financial education and financial wellness programs at work in an attempt to help employees change their money behaviors and increase their financial literacy, including on-site money management and financial planning seminars.

Among the employee benefits being added to provide a financial safety net are employee purchase programs, which provide employees with a method of obtaining household items and educational services through payroll deduction. Offered through the workplace as a voluntary benefit, an employee purchase program promotes disciplined purchasing through manageable payments and pre-set spending limits and controls to prevent over-spending.

Source: Purchasing Power LLC