Research explores connection between saving and financial wellbeing

Money worries affect a significant proportion of the UK workforce, and have knock-on effects for their physical and mental wellbeing. But as Salary Finance explains, employers are uniquely placed to help

New research has lifted the lid on how money troubles are affecting UK workers – and it’s not good news. 70 per cent of us save less than £100 a month, so it is sadly no surprise that four in 10 of us have financial worries.  And three in 10 of us have run out of money before payday. 

It’s clear that money problems are creating real issues, both in our heads and in the workplace. Salary Finance has continued to research this area of personal finances and developed more resources to help employers support their staff, including the new Employers’ Guide to Savings in association with Yorkshire Building Society.

Salary Finance’s extensive research was designed to better understand the impact of money worries on the UK workforce, with its financial wellbeing survey of 10,053 UK employees, a further survey of 2,000 Brits to understand rainy day saving habits, and a savings survey. 

This research shows that those with financial worries are much more likely to experience stress and a depressed mood – ultimately detrimentally impacting their overall wellbeing. Compared to people without money troubles, workers with money worries are 8.8 times more likely to have sleepless nights, 4.9 times more likely to suffer from depression and 3.9 times more likely to be suffering from panic attacks.

Unsurprisingly, these problems have a real knock-on effect at work. 41 per cent of employees with financial worries say their quality of work is affected, while 37 per cent feel their relationships with colleagues are worse as a result.

This is worrying enough for employers. But here’s another sobering stat: one in four employees with money worries is looking to move jobs, compared with only one in 10 of those without. 

It’s both compassionate and good business sense for employers to do what they can to help staff improve their financial wellbeing. And a pay rise isn’t necessarily the answer.  

Interestingly, neither financial worries or savings habits are linked to income, meaning that higher salaries don’t necessarily mean fewer money troubles or a greater propensity to save. In fact, 49 per cent of those earning over £100k a year had money worries, compared with 40 per cent of people overall. And 18 per cent of households earning over £55k have no cash savings whatsoever.

One of the ways that employers can support their staff in improving their financial resilience is by helping them establish a regular savings habit.  

Our research found that 41 per cent of employees said the reason they didn’t save is simply because they don’t have time to save. Offering a salary-linked savings account to employees makes saving ultra-convenient and helps sustain a savings habit. If the money goes straight into savings, rather than a current account, it isn’t ‘missed’.

We know that 77 per cent of UK workers trust their employer to keep their personal financial situation private from their colleagues and manager, putting employers in a unique position to provide much-needed support.

To find out more, and download a free copy of Salary Finance’s new Employers’ Guide to Savings, visit the website.