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How devastating financial worries, especially at Christmas, can impact work

First person perspective showing payment being made with a debit card & a cash tip, against a festive backdrop of a decorated Christmas Tree. Photo: Tracey Packer/Getty

Money worries at Christmas can negatively affect the behaviour and relationships of employees, according to new research.

Of 10,000 employees surveyed, 40% said that financial concerns have a negative effect on their relationships at work, with 44% admitting that the negative impact extends to their behaviour, say Neyber, a financial wellbeing organisation.

Christmas expenditure could exacerbate money worries, said Heidi Allan, Neyber’s head of employee wellbeing: “The additional pressure and stress associated with money issues affects how we interact with others and can make everyday activities more challenging than usual.

“Although staff spending is not an employer’s issue, there is great scope to support staff with financial wellbeing and education so they can start 2019 in the best possible way, helping them reduce stress and increase productivity.”

Negative impact on behaviour and relationships as a result of money worries. Infographic: Neyber

Neyber suggests that employers can help their workers by providing staff with confidential support for any financial concerns, and support through an employee assistance programme.

Line managers should be trained to spot warning signs such as poor performance, and to make sure employees know what support is on offer from their employer.

Allan explained why she thought there was more work to be done: “It is a widely known fact that employees often struggle to manage finances, which can be a very lonely feeling. Seven percent don’t know who to turn to and 16% handle it on their own. Perhaps not surprisingly, just 3% would go to their HR team, or 5% to a manager, but it is possible for HR and employers to create a supportive environment for staff without going to great expense themselves.”