PwC: Companies Lose Productivity When Employees Financially Stressed

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Sep 8, 2017

A recent report from PwC has found that nearly one-third of all employees are distracted by personal financial issues while at work, with almost half of these employees, 46 percent, spending three hours or more each week handling personal finances at work.

While personal finances might seem like a, well, personal issue, PwC noted that stressing over money can carry costs for the employer as well. Of those who are stressed about their finances, 50 percent spent three hours or more at work dealing with financial matters, 16 percent miss work on account of their personal financial issues, and 35 percent have experienced health issues from financial stress. 

“Financial stressors are not only negatively impacting employees, but are costing employers. Stressed employees are found to be less productive, take time off from work to deal with their finances, and are more likely to cite health issues caused by financial stress. These findings are concerning and potentially significant for companies looking to evaluate the return on investment of a financial wellness program," said Kent E. Allison, Partner & National Practice Leader. 

A significant driver of this stress, at least in younger people, is student debt. The report said that 81 percent of those with student loans vs. all other employees are stressed about their finances, 64 percent find it difficult to meet household expenses every month, 57 percent use credit cards for monthly necessities they can't otherwise afford, and 55 percent are distracted by finances at work. The study also found that younger employees are withdrawing money from their retirement plans more than they have in previous years. 51 percent of Millennials and 57 percent of Gen X-aged workers withdraw retirement funds for unexpected expenses, while 22 percent of Millennials and 18 percent of Gen X withdraw retirement funds for medical bills. 

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