28 April 2020
With the advent of globalization, the employment domain has been evolving. In India, the rise of the middle class has changed the dynamics of life for all. The thing which has not changed is stress due to work.
Stress pertaining to the workplace has been a constant companion of professionals. It is disguised in many forms, haunting employees throughout their career. The most lethal form is financial stress. The stress from the ever-growing pile of documents on your desk will evaporate when it is out of sight. The stress originating from deadlines will also vanish when you hand in the task, even if you are late. Financial stress, however is the one to look out for.
Assessing your own financial condition and evaluating your own ability to manage expenses while keeping up with saving plans and investment decisions is an enormous task. Add the responsibilities of managing a family and the stress increases exponentially. Hence, the more the weight on your shoulders, the more prone you are to being burdened and the more prolonged the stress will be. Academicians have concluded that employees’ financial worries begin from the time they join the race for employment and last even after retirement, and therefore, financial stress literally vows “till death do us apart” and remains faithful till you breathe your last. It infects you from inside out.
Employers should be equally concerned, since financially stressed employees add both direct and indirect costs to employers. For example, It has been reported that an increasing number of employees take up detrimental habits like smoking, drinking alcohol, overeating and drug addiction in an effort to cope with the building stress. There comes a point where the effects of indulging in such activities start affecting an individual’s work. Unhealthy or stressed employees are not productive and cost employers money. The digits on the medical bill increase proportionally to the financial worries and are often regarded as “hidden” loss to businesses.
Most businesses would consider alternatives to tackle productivity problems. One of them may be hiring new talent fresh out of college and free of any financial stress. The efficiency of this idea is so low that it may not even be considered a solution. Recruiting and hiring have been costly affairs since time immemorial. The cost of hiring new talent becomes twofold when the company offers training as well. In addition to this, there is also the issue of productivity loss. The new hire will take a while to generate the same productivity and profits which the existing employees generated. Therefore, the true business cost of employees’ financial worries is exorbitant and often unaccountable due to various hidden costs.
Another alternative is that businesses invest in educating the employees to achieve financial wellness. Instilling financial literacy in professionals has been deemed inadequate when it comes to handling financial stress. Therefore, it has become a serious issue which has ever increasing dire consequences for both businesses and individuals.
The only plausible solution to tackle financial duress to employees is for employers to lend a direct hand. In addition to conventional health insurance provisions, the business can set up a retirement fund to ease some of the financial burdens of existing employees. Corporates could also assist in referring employees services which could help them configure the details for taking out loans. The battle against financial worries demands the cooperation of both the employee and the employer.