New research has revealed that more than three-quarters (77%) of workers in the UK and Ireland have experienced financial stress over the past 12 months, often leading to productivity issues.
A Zellis-commissioned survey of 2,502 non-managerial workers found stress was most prevalent in under-35s (83%), while almost half of respondents said they are losing sleep because of concerns over finances.
More than half of those admitting to financial stress over the past 12 months told the survey that their worries had been detrimental to their productivity at work. The figure rose to 61% among under-35s, while male workers (63%) were more likely to report a drop in productivity due to financial stress than their female counterparts (50%).
According to Gethin Nadin, chief innovation officer at Zellis, the findings of the research show that investment in wellbeing should be thought of “as a means to drive greater performance and productivity”.
Nadin said: “Performance is important to wellbeing, with employees getting a sense of purpose and belonging at work by being successful.”
The research also found that more than three-quarters (76%) of employees experiencing financial stress were able to highlight at least one way in which money worries were having a negative consequence at work. These most commonly included loss of sleep leading to fatigue at work (45%), a lack of focus and concentration in the workplace (33%), becoming more error-prone (17%), and being less able to communicate effectively (14%).
“It’s striking that so many employees are now reporting that they feel stressed or anxious about their finances,” said Jacqui Summons, chief people officer at EMIS Health, and non-executive director at Zellis.
“The fact that the research shows such a clear link between financial wellbeing and performance at work should make business leaders in all industries stand up and take notice,” Summons added. “Employee wellbeing is rightly regarded as a key component of talent acquisition and retention strategies but there is evidently a business benefit as well.”