The Impact of Financial Stress on Employee Productivity

Dec 8 / Peter Waitzman

Financial stress is a major problem for many employees. It can lead to various problems, including absenteeism, presenteeism, and decreased productivity. A study by the American Psychological Association found that financial stress costs businesses an estimated $500 billion per year in lost productivity.

What is financial stress?

Financial stress is a feeling of worry or anxiety about money. Various factors, such as debt, job insecurity, and unexpected expenses, can cause it.

How does financial stress impact employee productivity?

Financial stress can have a number of negative impacts on employee productivity, including:

  • Absenteeism: Employees experiencing financial stress are more likely to miss work due to health problems, family emergencies, or other personal issues.

  • Presenteeism: Employees who are financially stressed may come to work even when they are sick or injured. It can lead to decreased productivity and increased errors.

  • Decreased concentration: Financial stress can make it difficult for employees to focus on their work. It may lead to the failure to meet deadlines and a decline in the quality of work.

  • Increased stress levels: Financial stress can lead to increased stress levels, which can have a negative impact on employee health and well-being.

What can employers do to help?

Employers can take several steps to help employees who are experiencing financial stress, including:

  • Offering financial education workshops: These workshops can teach employees about budgeting, debt management, and retirement savings.

  • Providing access to financial counseling: Financial counselors can help employees develop a plan to manage their debt and improve their financial situation.

  • Offering employee assistance programs (EAPs): EAPs can provide employees with confidential counseling and support services.

  • Offering flexible work arrangements: Flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting or compressed workweeks, can help employees better manage their time and responsibilities.

  • Promoting work-life balance: Employers can offer generous paid time off and encourage employees to take breaks throughout the day.

By taking these steps, employers can help reduce the impact of financial stress on their employees and improve their overall productivity.


Financial stress is a significant problem for many employees and can significantly impact their productivity. By addressing financial stress, employers can improve the overall well-being of their employees and boost their bottom line. Employers can also consider offering financial wellness programs to provide employees with resources and support to help them manage their finances. They can create a more supportive and productive work environment for all employees by taking a proactive approach to financial stress.