Financial Concerns Affecting Employee Productivity

April 21, 2011 ( - PricewaterhouseCoopers U.S.'s 2011 Financial Wellness Survey shows that the high degree of stress caused by financial worries is also having an impact on employee productivity.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents admit personal financial issues have been a distraction at work, and 48% state they’ve handled their personal finances during work hours. Personal finances being a distraction at work was highest among employees ages 35 to 44 (40%) and those earning $100,000 or more (37%), proving that financial stress is not necessarily just an issue for the young and/or less fortunate.  

According to a press release, the survey found almost half (49%) of working American adults find it difficult to meet their household expenses on time (up from 43% in 2010) , and even those earning $100,000 or more annually say it’s a challenge (36%).   

Additionally, nearly one-quarter (24%) of employees surveyed report using credit cards to buy monthly necessities because they couldn’t afford them otherwise, up nine percentage points from 2010. Among those earning $100,000 or more annually, that number jumps to 34%.   

Half of survey respondents consistently carry balances on credit cards (in line with 51% in 2010), and 42% of respondents find it difficult to make minimum credit card payments on time (up from 28% in 2010).  

Given these cash and debt management challenges, it’s no surprise that 61% of survey respondents say they find dealing with their financial situation stressful, and 56% say their stress level has increased over the past 12 months.  

The survey also found that meeting day-to-day expenses is now more of a concern for employees than funding retirement (see Retirement not the Most Pressing Financial Concern for Employees).