How financial anxiety is affecting your workforce

5 min read

How financial anxiety is affecting your workforce

The theme for this years’ mental health awareness week is anxiety. A survey from the Anxiety Disorders Association of America showed that 9% of individuals are living with a diagnosed anxiety disorder. Of that 9%, a staggering 40% experience anxiety in their daily lives.  

There are many reasons people feel anxious at work, however, there is one consistent issue that comes up time and time again for people - and that's money worries. We've recently done research on the topic and here are some of our findings: 

  • 17% of people feel overwhelmed by their debts 
  • 36% of people don’t believe their employer is interested in supporting their financial wellbeing 
  • 48% of people feel anxious about their current financial situation 

Considering this, let’s have a look at the top three ways financial anxiety is affecting your people at work and how financial education can address financial anxiety at work.  

Financial anxiety affects your overall health 

60% of employees feel anxious, depressed, or stressed about their finances. Anxiety can also open the floodgates to other health challenges such as heart problems, digestive issues, tiredness and dizziness. Financial anxiety can also affect your sleep, which affects your performance at work and overall health.  

Young employees on lower incomes are hit the hardest 

The cost-of-living crisis affects everyone, but not equally. A report by Aviva showed that younger people (aged 25-34) are more likely to bring up financial concerns compared to their older counterparts.  

Further, our research found that 58% of 25-34-year-olds feel anxious about their financial situation. However, when they’re offered financial education, the number reduces to 46%.  

Considering that financial education reduces anxiety, employers have the opportunity to engage their younger employees. As it stands, 22% of workers under the age of 25 are less likely to feel connected to their employers. Once your younger workforce feels they’re being supported with financial education, it’s likely their anxiety around money will improve and they’ll be more committed and connected at work.  

Poor morale and company culture 

What happens when people don’t feel connected at work because of financial stress? When stress hacks away at employee morale, company culture takes a hit. What’s more, people experiencing workplace anxiety are less likely to be satisfied at work and more likely to leave. 

According to Morgan Stanely, employees who are burdened by financial stress are 9 times more likely to have troubled relationships with co-workers. This results in work conflicts which can lead to churn, and increased workloads for remaining employees. 

Research shows that employees feel much more engaged at work when they feel their financial health is supported. In fact, 40% of employees who receive financial education feel that their relationship with their employer is strong and goes beyond being purely transactional. 

So, what’s the solution? 

Well, financial education that’s relevant, timely, and empowering is the best route to addressing financial anxiety in the workplace. 

Why? Because poor health is a significant cost to your organization. According to the HSE, work-related stress, anxiety, or depression account for more than half of all work-related sickness absence.  

Offering timely financial education to your employees when they need it is proven to help employees manage their financial anxiety. In fact, our research says 59% of employees who receive financial education feel more hopeful about their finances. With financial education, employers are empowering their employees to take control of their finances and their lives. Control allows employees feel less anxious, more financially secure, and connected at work. 

It’s in the employers’ hands to ease financial anxiety, and make the working world a happier, healthier place. If you’d like to learn more about how to support your peoples’ mental health with financial education get in touch.