Analysis of global employee support service reveals 38 percent increase in number of people seeking financial consultations; 22 percent rise among those looking for health and wellness information
Raleigh, N.C. (October 6, 2016) – Regardless of gender, geography or ideology, money issues have long been a top source of stress for people across the world. Unfortunately, according to new data, the number of working individuals across the globe looking for financial help is nearly 40 percent higher than it was in 2014.
Workplace Options, the world’s leading provider of integrated employee well-being services, recently examined more than two years (January 1, 2014 – March 31, 2016) worth of data from a global population of more than 115,000 employees covered by its work-life employee support service. The purpose was to identify and quantify the evolving ways that people around the globe are using services designed to improve their practical well-being.
Overall utilization of the service remained relatively constant across the entire period; however, the types of support employees were seeking changed fairly dramatically. Among the most interesting findings:
- Only two types of cases increased across every region of the world: financial consultations and inquiries seeking health and wellness information.
- The number of employees seeking financial consultations increased by 38.3 percent, globally. The greatest increase came from EMEA (60.2 percent); the lowest increase came from Central and South America (12.2 percent).
- The number of employees seeking health and wellness information increased by 22.2 percent, globally. The greatest increase came from Central and South America (27.8 percent); the lowest increase came from North America (11.4 percent).
- The number of employees seeking both child care and elder care information decreased, globally.
- More employees sought legal assistance through the service than any other type of support. Legal assistance inquiries accounted for nearly half (48.7 percent) of all cases during the timeframe examined.
“This data shows employers around the world that employees are now more concerned with physical and financial health than at any point in recent history,” said Dean Debnam, CEO of Workplace Options. “These things affect employees across the globe on a daily basis. If you’re an employer looking to get the most out of your workforce, you might want to evaluate what kind of support you’re offering in these areas.”
Interpreting the Data
The sharp rise in financial consultations and requests for health and wellness information is likely not the result of one specific factor, but rather a reflection of several different circumstances.
“The fact that these two categories rose significantly and consistently across every geography reflects social dynamics more than a reaction to specific variables,” Debnam said. “For years, companies have been stressing and experimenting with employee health and wellness programs. Support in these areas is something employees now expect.”
Explaining the rise in financial consultations, Debnam suggests the data reflects employees’ increasing concerns about money and spending habits.
“In general, people have a lot of anxiety about how to save and manage their money,” he said. “The burden of responsibility on an individual to plan for their own financial future has never been greater. Employers should consider what they can do to help reduce the stress and anxiety that their employees are obviously experiencing related to money habits.”
The employee population examined spanned five large international employers, each with employees across four different world regions: Asia-Pacific (APAC); Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); North America; and Central and South America.
The following is a regional breakdown showing how usage of the service changed in key categories (click to expand):
“Elder care and child care are still important services that employees need,” Debnam explained. “But the trends that you see in these numbers are a reflection of simple mathematics – when one percentage goes way up, others must come down.”
Elder care and child care were the fourth and fifth most popular type of services used by the global employee population, respectively. The top three were legal assistance, financial consultations, and daily living – a general category that included health and wellness inquiries among others.
More about the Examined Employee Population
The employee population analyzed for this effort represented employees from five different global organizations. Each employer had employees in all four world regions (APAC, EMEA, North America, Central and South America) and all employees had consistent access to Workplace Options’ work-life support services during the entire timeframe analyzed. The utilization rate for all employers remained steady between 3 and 8 percent throughout the entire period.
About Workplace Options
Workplace Options helps employees balance their work, family and personal needs to become healthier, happier and more productive, both personally and professionally. The company’s world-class employee support, effectiveness and well-being services provide information, resources, referrals and consultation on a variety of issues ranging from dependent care and stress management to clinical services and wellness programs.
Drawing from an international network of credentialed providers and professionals, Workplace Options is the world’s largest integrated employee support services and work-life provider. Service centers in the U.S., UK, Ireland, Portugal, France, Canada, Singapore, Japan, India, and Indonesia support more than 53 million employees in over 78,000 organizations, across more than 200 countries and territories. To learn more, visit www.workplaceoptions.com.
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