While it is widely acknowledged that personal financial problems can be a major source of stress to employees, the provision of financial literacy education at the workplace is typically an area overlooked in corporate wellness programmes.
Concern about personal financial problems explains not only 50% of overall stress levels reported by employees (Bailey, Woodiel, Turner, & Young, 1998), stress from personal financial problems also results in decreased employee productivity through absenteeism and presenteeism. As Garman, Leech, and Grable (1996) suggest, employees may take time out from their workday to deal with personal financial issues, and employ strategies for coping with stress (e.g., smoking) have impact their physical and mental health, and in turn, their job performance. Other findings indicate the prevalence of poor financial behaviours among office workers to be relatively high (Joo & Grable, 2011).
Despite this, financial literacy education has yet to be integrated into local corporate wellness programmes which focus typically on healthy lifestyles. Healthier food (Straits Times, 10 Sept 2013) and exercising at the work station (Straits Times, 16 Sept 2013) are all the rage at the moment. While advice about planning and managing family resources may not be readily available at the workplace, independent financial advice is available at blogs like Dollars & Sense, and financial calculators at Money Sense SG can be useful for sorting out a household budget. And in this day and age, iphone and android apps for managing your money even take the stress out of keeping track of your spending.
With the appreciating dollar, it’s never too late to start making some good financial decisions!