Just one year ago, employee’s most valued having flexibility at work. However, in the face of inflation and an expected recession, a survey finds that employee desires are shifting.
According to a new survey from Betterment at Work, workers are more concerned about financial stability as they look to the future. The poll shows that only 40% of workers consider themselves as financially secure, representing a 9-point decrease from 2021.
In fact, 75% of respondents said that the current market has hindered their retirement savings, leading 28% to dip into these accounts for some expenses. More worryingly, the number of professionals who have an emergency fund fell by 7 percentage points to 59% this year.
There are various areas where financial insecurity stems from. For 88% of respondents, inflation and student debt are the biggest sources of financial pressure, while 67% say student debt in particular is keeping them from saving for retirement.
As a result of financial woes, 71% say they are experiencing anxiety while 54% say their mental health decline is hindering their ability to focus at work.
Financial insecurity also ranges between genders, with 77% of women reporting related anxiety compared to 63% of men.
Now more than ever, professionals are leaning on employers to help them through the current financial crisis. For instance, the survey shows that a 401(k) and 401(k) match are the two most in-demand financial benefits despite just 52% of workers having access to them.
“[Companies] are focused on sustainable growth and investing intentionally in their employees,” said Kristen Carlisle, General Manager of Betterment at Work.
“This presents an opportunity for employers to reexamine their benefits packages and gauge whether their current offerings are truly meeting the evolving needs of employees. A great financial wellness package doesn’t need to provide every benefit under the sun, but rather, a curated selection of the benefits that will make the most impact.”