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Perks of Work: Sending Out an SOS on Savings

July 12, 2019, 10:30 AM

Time for Perks of Work, our weekly recap of intriguing data, surveys, and trends about the 21st century workplace.

Counting the days till summer vacation? Do you have your HR department on speed dial? Check this space every Friday to keep up with the latest water-cooler talk.

Fiscal SOS

Workers who live paycheck to paycheck need more tools to survive.

Nonprofit group Commonwealth quizzed workers earning less than $60,000 a year about their financial priorities, focusing on what management could do to bolster savings.

Setting money aside remains challenging for many. Around one in four (24%) said they save a pre-set amount each month, while nearly a third (31%) passed along “whatever is left at the end of the month.”

Commonwealth’s advice: Rolling out well-timed savings options—particularly when raises are in play—ups the odds of achieving financial security.

“Increased wage moments, in particular, provide a unique opportunity for employers to provide low-cost, high-value, and easy to implement interventions,” the report’s writers asserted.

Tossing and Turning

Trying to make ends meet is exhausting.

A National Business Group on Health survey of 2,200 workers echoed familiar calls for financial assistance. But the damage is not restricted to employees’ bank statements.

About 40% of the respondents requested help with combating “burnout at work.” One in four could use a hand on the home front, seeking assistance “so they can sleep better and become more resilient.”

“Employees are looking to their employer to provide support on all areas of well-being—not just physical health programs focused on losing weight or understanding health risks—but those designed to help employees meet their financial, mental, community and social health goals,” NBGH President and CEO Brian Marcotte said in a release.

Giving Till It Hurts

Insurance company Voya Financial took a look at how rough it is for caregivers in the modern workforce.

Employees juggling double-duty include: parents caring for children; workers caring for aging parents, spouses caring for disabled partners; and anyone caring for family members with special needs or mental illness.

Shouldering the added load takes a toll on everyone.

Respondents said the constant demands prompted them to: burn vacation time/sick days/paid leave to provide care (83%); lose sleep (72%); cut back on work hours (56%); change jobs (31%); quit working (22%).

In addition to offering flexible scheduling, the report’s writers urged employers to consider benefits such as backup home care and legal services.

“When the needs of caregivers and employees with disabilities go unaddressed, the negative impact resonates across the entire company,” Voya staff warned.

Hungry for more? Send any tips, polls, or story pitches to wrojas@bloomberglaw.com.

To contact the reporter on this story: Warren Rojas in Washington at wrojas@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Fawn Johnson at fjohnson@bloomberglaw.com; Brent Bierman at bbierman@bloomberglaw.com