60% of employees suffer from financial stress

Stress at work

Just under two-thirds (60%) of US workers are significantly burdened by financial stress, according to research by asset management firm State Street Global Advisors.

Its biannual Employee retirement survey, which surveyed 1,000 employees aged between 20 and 69, also found that the key triggers of stress were mortgages, student loans, healthcare costs and the feeling that they have not done enough to prepare for retirement.

The research also found:

  • 37% acknowledged that financial stress has caused their productivity at work to suffer.
  • 25% of respondents have missed work due to stress stemming from their personal financial situation.
  • 50% are living from one pay day to the next.
  • 50% of respondents are confident that they could pay for a financial emergency costing up to $1,000.
  • Respondents aged 30 to 39 were the most likely to take advance of employer-sponsored programmes such as budgeting workshops, stress management courses and one-on-one financial planning assistance.

Fredrik Axsater, global head of State Street Global Advisors defined contribution, said: “We all know that financial concerns are usually top of mind for individuals and families, but the findings from this survey clearly demonstrate how much concern individuals have about finances.

“Financial and workplace stressors have the greatest impact on work quality and productivity, which confirms what we are hearing from employers: that we need to address workplace financial demands beyond retirement savings.

“A more holistic approach is needed, providing tools and opportunities for employers to reduce stress and improve their financial wellbeing.

“Eventually, employees’ financial problems will affect their productivity, and our survey underscores the importance of the fact that financial wellness is now part of nearly all our conversations with employers.

“By providing employees with access to resources and tools that enable them to improve their financial lives and alleviate daily financial stress, employers can then refocus their employees’ attention and action towards retirement savings and security. Taking this holistic approach creates the opportunity to address steps to retirement readiness, while increasing awareness around financial wellbeing.”