According to the research, a sizable majority of workers (69%) are stressed over their finances, leading to a range of behaviors that can cost companies approximately $2,000 in excess labor costs per employee. Most respondents (72%) admitted to worrying about personal finances while at work, with one-third doing so more than once per week.
The research finds that worker productivity is directly impacted by this stress, generating excess employment costs. “Slightly more than three-quarters of survey respondents cited lack of retirement savings as a leading factor affecting their stress,” the survey report says. “Nearly half report they worry about it ‘a great deal,’ and only 40% expect to retire ‘about when planned.’”
I wonder if there ever was a time when workers were not stressed about their finances. I know back in the 80’s I was stressed paying college costs. I was never stressed paying credit cards because I didn’t use them which I suspect means I missed having lots of stuff that is taken for granted today by many.
But yes, employers should worry.
Anything that distracts workers while on the job is not good. On the other hand, isn’t it ironic that many workers, especially moderate income workers, face financial stress caused by their employer shifting costs to them in the form of higher premiums and or high deductible health plans or reduced retirement benefits.
Asking survey questions about money is like asking if health care is affordable; you know the answer beforehand.
When surveys ask about financial stress and retirement planning, they should also ask things like:
How many pairs of shoes do you have?
How much do you spend on lottery tickets?
Where did you go in your last vacation?
What is your credit card balance(s)?
How many times did you eat out last month?
Do you save any money before you spend any?