How to Identify Financial Stress in the Workplace

Stress is a part of everyday life and we all know it can have a big impact. It can affect things not only at home, but also at work. Whether it’s the cause of a decrease in productivity or the cause of an increase in anxiety, general stress can make a huge difference in even the best workers, but there’s a bigger culprit out there than just ordinary stress: financial stress.

While it causes the same issues as general stress, it generally lasts much longer and has a much more severe impact on the company the employee is working for. Luckily, there are some sure signs employers can be on the lookout for to help tell the difference between general stress and financial stress.

1.Taking Loans from Retirement Savings
Employees who feel strapped for cash are more likely to borrow against their own future. These employees may take out multiple loans in order to help reach short term goals or keep themselves afloat without realizing they’re damaging their financial future. Borrowing out of their retirement plan will ease their stress in the present moment, but cause more trouble for them in the future.

2.Asking for Pay Advances
Employees who need money immediately don’t have very many options. Payday loans come with an extremely high interest rate and some employees may not qualify for a normal loan. That means, they’ll be more likely to ask for frequent pay advances to help make it through until their next check. However, if they take some of that money now, they’ll be getting less on payday and that can become a vicious cycle.

3.Unexpected Absences
Everyone is sick from time to time, but financial stress can cause employees to not come to work at unexpected times. They may stay home in order to take care of a financial problem, or the financial issue may be keeping them stranded at home. An employee in a bad financial situation may be forced to call out of work due to the inability to afford a car repair.

4.Dealing with Finances at Work
Finances are a normal worry for most people, but for employees under longer-term financial stress, it can become consuming. Those employees are likely to try and handle the problem while they’re at work. They may only be thinking about the problem and how they can solve it, but it may also be something more severe like spending a lot of time on the phone trying to handle an immediate financial issue.

5.Skipping on Preventative Care
Financial stress will cause employees to skip out on routine health care due to the cost. They won’t want to spend the money on a check up or miss work due to a smaller paycheck. In turn, one small health issue can turn into many larger ones that cause extra absences.

These signs can be worrisome for employers because financial stress leads to long-term issues for the company as well as its employees. However, there are ways you can help those under that pressure to succeed and, in return, make your company a more successful one! To read more about the effects of financial stress and literacy in the workplace, and the impact they have, visit us at

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