- Providing simple savings options can help reduce financial stress and boost productivity for lower-wage workers, a new study from Commonwealth has concluded.
- The study, Rise with The Raise, revealed that three-quarters of surveyed workers earning less than $60,000 per year believe that if their companies offered workplace savings programs at the same time as salary increases, they'd be less stressed and more confident about their finances.
- Among surveyed employees who have savings, 43% said they had less than $400 set aside. The probability of employees being able to save increases by 2% for every additional dollar earned, up to a wage of $20 per hour, Commonwealth analysts found.
There's no question that workers are stressed about their finances — and those concerns are affecting employers, too. One recent study concluded that a third of workers worry about money issues at work, and debt is at the top of their minds. Employees welcomed the idea of their employers helping them out with calculating how much money they would need for a secure retirement (75%), as well as comprehensive financial planning (68%).
Workers who are stressed — be it about money and other concerns — are less productive at work. According to a Colonial Life study of over 1,500 U.S. workers, 70% stress about their finances, jobs and health, with more than a fifth of that group spending a minimum of five hours each week at work thinking about these issues. Colonial Life, citing numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, said that with 128.5 million full-time employees earning an average of $21 per hour, employers are losing billions on workers whose stressors are causing them to be unproductive or disengaged at work.
Proactive employers are starting to tackle the problem of financially stressed workers head-on, by offering financial wellness programs. These often include finance classes, counseling, student loan financing help, and even gamification options designed to help workers pay down debt, follow a budget, or invest for retirement.