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The dangerous, insidious workplace stress you may not even be aware of – by Anthony Moncada

Careers and University, The Business of Health, The Health Industry

Over the last few years, compelling evidence has been collated indicating there is a silent but devastating epidemic in our workplaces. Studies from around the globe acknowledge alarming statistics regarding the massive impact of financial stress in the workplace.

The human impact is scary and it’s a productivity draining liability for business.

Some statistics from a few selected studies highlight illustrate the depth and breadth of the issue. This is merely a snapshot…

Here’s what’s clear:

  1. A high proportion of employees suffer from mental stress
    – 35 per cent of Australians report having a significant level of distress in their lives (APS – Stress and Well Being Survey 2015);
    – 26 per cent of Australians report above normal levels of anxiety symptoms (APS – Stress and Well Being Survey 2015);
    – 90% of all mental health issues in the work place are stress related citing the Ceridian Workplace Wellness Survey 2013
  2. Financial concerns are the predominant factor in Mental Health for employees
    – The single highest contributor to stress in the 5 years to 2015 was personal financial issues in 49% of cases (APS – Stress and Well Being Survey 2015);
    – There are 2.8 million employees experiencing financial stress, representing one in four workers, under financial stress in 2016 (AMP’s 2016 Financial Wellness Report);
    – Personal finances are the leading cause of their stress at 45% citing the Manulife/Ipsos Reid Health and Wellness Study 2014
    – 20% or One in five employees report that issues with personal finances have been a distraction at work (PwC’s Employee Financial Wellness Survey, 2015 Edition);

How is it possible that 2.8 Million Australians employees suffer from Financial Stress and there isn’t far more attention given to it?

Is it because it’s confronting, personal and potentially embarrassing to the individual?

Could pride be getting in the way of those affected seeking help?

It’s certainly not because employers don’t care, it’s because they DON’T KNOW.

It is important to also acknowledge that the issue is not isolated to low income earners. The incidence of financial stress for high-income earners is also very high. 16% of employees earning $150,000+ state they are under financial stress. Even more disturbing, the instance of stress in high income earners is also rising at a rapid rate. The 16% of employees above $150,000 experiencing financial stress has doubled from 8% in 2014 according to the AMP Financial Wellness Report 2016.

That is a double whammy for employers of big ticket staff

  • They are losing more per lost hour of lost productivity, and
  • They are losing at twice the rate they were 2 years ago.

In order to stop these Issues robbing businesses of profit and robbing your staff of peace of mind, this major issue requires acknowledgement and action.

The impact is simply too severe to ignore.

Photo credit: Andrew Imanaka via Visual Hunt / CC BY-ND


Anthony Moncada (MAppFin, BInfTech, DFS(FP), CertIV FMB), is Director of Wealth Strategic, a Financial Planning Practice specialising in helping Doctors, Specialists, Dentists, Physiotherapists and Health Professionals.

Anthony Moncada (AR 1234994) and Assurance Alliance Pty Ltd trading as Wealth Strategic (CAR 1234995) and Authorised Representatives of Dover Financial Advisers Pty Ltd AFSL 307248.

General Advice Warning – All strategies and information provided are general advice only which does not take into consideration any of your personal circumstances. Please seek personal financial and taxation advice prior to acting on this information.


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