Worried, anxious employees, of course, aren’t productive workers. But financial stress can cause more problems than mere distraction—it can harm employees’ health: According to Fox News Health, a 2014 study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers found that nearly half of working adults feel financial stress. And financial stress has a particularly harmful effect on health and wellness, especially for low- to moderate-income workers: As Peter Orszag reports in Bangor Daily News, lower-income workers live with substantial financial stress that is shortening their lives.
So what’s the solution? How can employers help their workers both reduce financial stress and improve their health? Well, it turns out that employer-sponsored “financial wellness” programs might be almost as beneficial as employer-sponsored health programs: Two professors at North Carolina State University studied employee financial-literacy programs offered by corporations such as Weyerhaeuser and found that the financial-education classes offered by employers helped workers better understand their benefits and compensation and make informed choices about their financial lives. And feeling in control of one’s financial life can only improve one’s health—physical, mental, and otherwise.
We at PayActiv are big proponents of employee financial wellness by putting financial control in the hands of the employee. We solve top financial concerns of low wage and hourly workers by giving them access to their already-earned money. Employees benefit by getting in the means to handle their immediate financial worries like unpaid bills without paying penalties like late fees and interest, and employers benefit because their employees are less stressed and distracted at work. Win-win workplace!