Financial stress affects your workplace more than you may think

With financial uncertainty continuing to grow, employers in every industry are faced with a grueling reality: financial stress in the workplace is real (and higher than ever before), and it comes with a hefty price tag.

In 2019, 69% of employees admitted they were stressed about their finances, with 72% admitting that this stress gets in the way of their work. And now, in the midst of a global health crisis, that stress has reached new heights.

Millennials, Boomers and Zoomers alike are all losing sleep over saving for retirement, making mortgage and rent payments, and paying off credit card debt. But with more than 45 million borrowers collectively holding over $1.5T in student loans, the number one cause of financial stress is student debt. In 2019, more than 76% of employees cited student debt as the leading cause of their financial worries. 

Financial stress can manifest itself in numerous physical conditions, leading to both mental and physical health problems. It can increase the body’s cortisol levels, which puts individuals at risk for anxiety, depression, digestive problems, headaches, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain, memory and concentration impairment, and more. 

Money-related stress is so problematic that it often has a significant impact on an organization’s bottom line.

When financial stress is present at work, companies can lose approximately 27 productive work days and see around 12.5% lost payroll costs annually (as a result of lost productivity, rehiring and retraining). Companies with financially stressed employees often experience increased absenteeism and employee turnover, lower productivity and higher healthcare costs.

Employers can help alleviate the burden of financial stress on their employees and their business by offering Student Loan Assistance. When employers commit to helping their employees take control of their student debt and/or contribute to the repayment of their loans, they can increase engagement and save on payroll costs. 

Want to know how student debt and financial stress impacts your industry?