Three out of Four Employees Are Financially Stressed

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<strong>Raleigh, N.C. &mdash; April 15</strong><br />A national survey of working adults commissioned by Workplace Options (WPO), a provider of work-life employee benefits in America, found that nearly three out of four employees are stressed due to financial concerns. In addition, stress about finances is impeding productivity, with 45 percent of respondents reporting their financial stress makes it harder for them to do their jobs.<br /><br />Employees who are physically, emotionally and financially stressed are less able to contribute to the workplace and more apt to experience burn out and reduced morale. Offering employees access to counseling and services related to financial issues, however, empowers workers to concentrate on responsibilities at work, rather than financial concerns.<br /><br />Work-life services, such as WPO&#39;s Advantage Financial Assist, are providing employees with comprehensive financial support and education to help them avoid trouble and attain financial goals. For example, counselors and educators can address questions on a variety of financial management issues including debt reduction, home buying, budgeting and prevention of foreclosure and bankruptcy.<br /><br />Employee calls to the WPO Advantage Financial Assist help desk have increased 41 percent from first quarter 2007 to first quarter 2008.<br /><br />"This increase echoes the survey results that employees are more and more stressed over financial concerns," said Dean Debnam, chief executive officer of WPO. "More than half of the workers polled feel it&#39;s important for companies to offer financial consulting services for their employees; yet, only about a quarter of their employers currently offer these services."<br /><br />For employees looking to reduce their financial stress, WPO offers the following tips:<br /><br />1. <strong>Set goals. </strong>Develop specific goals to identify what you need to do in order to achieve financial stability. Setting and writing down goals can motivate you to achieve them within a specific timeframe.<br />2. <strong>Establish a spending plan.</strong> Make a list of your sources of income then identify your monthly spending habits. Comparing spending to monthly earnings can help you identify ways to save more and spend less.<br />3. <strong>Reduce debt. </strong>With rising interest rates, debt can accumulate more quickly. Living more moderately, quitting a vice such as smoking or taking a second job can get you closer to financial freedom.<br />4. <strong>Educate yourself.</strong> Understanding your finances and being aware of the resources available to you can help get you on the right financial path.<br /><br />Advantage Financial Assist is offered to more than 1.4 million employees in approximately 1,126 companies nationwide. The national survey, conducted by the North Carolina firm of Public Policy Polling on March 6, 2008, polled 749 working adults. The survey has a margin of error of ± 3.7 percent.<br />

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