After the pandemic, work from home has become a norm rather than an anomaly. A sudden, big shift in the corporate landscape has been witnessed, and organizational activities such as meetings, deadlines, action plans are now well-tuned to work while we sit comfortably in our living rooms.
However, there is a major problem – related to employee financial wellness – surfacing because of the Covid-19 crisis. Many businesses have already implemented pay cuts and withdrawal of benefits to stay afloat. It is not that this financial wellness concern is seeking global attention only at the moment; it was in question even in the pre-pandemic times. But this time around, its importance is rather much realized (for more details on this, refer to our previous blog here).
What does financial wellness bring to the table?
To put it simply, financial wellness programs involve steps taken by employers to bolster benefits for employees and enable them to manage their personal and professional finances effectively. With due assistance, the employees are enabled to address a range of issues – credit score building, financial goal setting, financial crisis management, personal and household budgeting, and so on. Not only is this the ethically right thing to do, but it’s also prudent. These moves boost overall productivity at an organizational level. It is only logical that if employees have their finances not generating any stress, they raise the bar on output.
Importance in the pandemic hour
In 2019, data from a financial firm, John Hancock, showed that as many as 69 percent of workers had stress due to their shaky financial position. In fact, as many as 72 percent of the employees admitted to having been anxious about their personal finances at work, which adversely impacted their performance.
Thus, with Covid-19 creating spillovers across the globe, the ongoing year must differ from 2019: economic downturn, shutdowns, and job cuts. Also, more people this year are not so financially well-equipped, and even if the employees work from home, there are some teething problems such as electricity and Wi-Fi bills cropping up, and they need to be immediately addressed.
Therefore, it can be said that remote employees should be pulled out of the financial crunch by their employers as pointed out in a study by Travis Credit Union. The study concluded that 73 percent of employees believe the COVID-19 pandemic will change financial habits in the future. Therefore, due to the rise in such contingent expenditures coupled with a reduction in pay in a lot of cases, it has become imperative for the employees to have some sort of guidance on financial management. The employer, during these unsettling times, should rise to the occasion and work out these new problems.
Ways to engage remote employees in financial wellness programs
There are several ways in which employers can help remote employees with financial wellness without them being physically present:
- Organizing online workshops and seminars on stress management with respect to personal finances, taxation, etc. can churn out benefits. As per March 2020’s Betterment for Business report, 77% of millennials and Gen Z savers say that thinking about their finances causes them stress. Stress is one of the primary factors reducing employee performance, which ultimately affects productivity.
- An employee discount program by negotiating with different hospitals, restaurants, tourist attraction agents, and grocery vendors can be initiated to ensure the most basic of necessities, especially in crisis situations.
- Implementing merit-based reward policies during these testing times will provide positive incentives for the employees.
- Extending some short-term emergency lending services is also a way out to help the employees in case of an unfortunate incident under precarious circumstances.
There are also several other ways the organization can introduce to redress the balance for its employees in this post-COVID-19 fix. Several third-party organizations have come up with financial wellness programs that the employer can pay for while other aspects are outsourced. This can be the game-changer for remote employees, providing adequate financial support within the confines of their homes. At EarlySalary, we’re happy to be amongst the leaders in this segment. Organizations can partner with EarlySalary and offer instant personal loans, education fees financing, medical emergency loans, and many more financial tools for their workforce. Register here and make sure that your employees’ financial management needs are taken care of.
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