A stressful financial situation restricts one in four workers from fully concentrating at work, as new research reveals the extent to which money worries impact workplace productivity in the UK.
The study, carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), made several worrying assertions, particularly the tendency for men to withhold stress from employers. Less than a quarter of men surveyed said that they would vocalise money worries to their boss.
The demographic most affected by money worries were workers aged 18 to 24 year-olds. A third had reported a damaging effect on their work as a result of stress.
The research also found that workers earning high salaries were just as susceptible to money worries, with a fifth of those earning between £45,000 and £59,999 feeling strong financial anxiety.
Commenting on the findings, Charles Cotton, reward advisor at CIPD, warned employers of the potential crossover of money worries into the workplace, and emphasised the business benefits of positive health.
“Employers not only have a duty of care to their employees but will also see their bottom lines benefit if they invest time in developing a financial well-being strategy and play an active role in supporting staff in this area,” he said in a statement.
How can an employer provide support for workers suffering from money worries?
Talking exclusively to Business Advice about the CIPD research, David Price, managing director and wellbeing expert of Health Assured, gave business owners expert advice on how to support employees under stress.
“Money is something everyone has to deal with directly or indirectly on a day-to-day basis. For some people, keeping their heads above water financially can be a constant battle. Being in financial distress has been linked with reduced mental health and wellbeing
“It is in an employer’s best interest to support an employee with financial problems as they will invariably struggle to focus 100 per cent on their work, and may make mistakes or miss opportunities. The effect can be disastrous to any business, large or small.
“Similarly to mental health, there are barriers to employees coming forward and asking for help, or telling someone that they are struggling. Making this part of regular learning opportunities and including it among wider wellbeing activities can make it easier for employees to attend.
“An Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) can be a significant benefit to those at risk of falling into debt or struggling with their finances. Many EAPs offer debt counselling or advice services. It is important for employers to regularly remind employees about the specific services available from the EAP and how they can help them.
“Employers could also consider offering lines of credit and advice on how to manage money or workplace financial education, providing the tools employees need for their own financial education. These classes focus on making the most of existing income through better money management and savings plans.”
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