2022 Workplace Wellness Survey Report Finds 80% of Employees Have a Problematic Level of Debt, Including Credit Card, Medical and Student Loan Debt

– Three in Four Workers Agree That Their Employers Have a Responsibility to Make Sure Employees are Mentally and Physically Well –

(Washington, D.C.) – Major findings from the 2022 Workplace Wellness Survey published today by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald Research report that most employees are concerned about their household’s financial well-being and most employees describe their level of debt as a problem.  Employees also agree that their employers have a responsibility to ensure they are physically, emotionally and financially well, but fewer than half rate their employer’s efforts highly in these areas.

The Workplace Wellness Survey examines worker attitudes towards employment-based benefits in the workplace, as well as a broad spectrum of financial well-being, employment-based health insurance and retirement benefit issues.

Key highlights from the 2022 Workplace Wellness Survey report include:

  • Most employees are concerned about their household’s financial well-being and the overwhelming majority describes their level of debt as a problem. Six in ten employees (60%) are at least moderately concerned about their household’s financial well-being, which has increased by 11 points since 2021 (49%). About half of employees are concerned about their emotional (50%) and physical (48%) well-being.
  • Employees agree that their employers have a responsibility to ensure they are physically, emotionally and financially well, but fewer than half rate their employer’s efforts highly in these areas. Three in four employees agree that their employers have a responsibility to make sure employees are mentally healthy and emotionally well (77%) and healthy and physically well (74%). Two thirds (66%) feel the same about their employer’s responsibility to ensure employees are financially secure and well.
  • Health insurance and retirement savings plans are the most common employee benefits and are the top benefits for employee retention/recruitment and their financial security. Four in ten employees (44%) are extremely or very satisfied with their benefits package, which has decreased by 7 points since 2021 (51%).
  • Most employees have a high level of understanding about their health benefits and half rate their employer’s communications about health benefits highly. Half of employees (52%) rate their employer’s communications about health insurance and health care as excellent or very good. Less than half (47%) rate communications about online resources about benefits at the same level.
  • Workplace flexibility, work-life balance, paid time off and leave benefits are important to employees. Most feel tele-working has positively impacted their well-being. Four in ten employees (39%) describe the work-life balance at their company as excellent or very good, which has decreased significantly since 2021. Another 36% rate it as good and 25% rate it as fair or poor.
  • Most employees agree that balancing work and caregiving is challenging, but few employees report access to caregiving benefits. A quarter of employees (24%) report their employer offers subsidized/complimentary child or daycare. Among those with access, 65% of employees have used it. Among those without access, 44% are interested in having the benefit available.
  • Half of employees are satisfied with their current retirement benefits and most are satisfied with the contributions received from their employer. Seven in ten employees (70%) say they are currently offered a retirement savings plan. Half of employees (51%) are extremely or very satisfied with their current retirement benefits and nearly six in ten (58%) understand their retirement benefits extremely or very well.
  • Fewer than half of employees say they are offered a financial wellness program at work. When offered, six in ten employees have participated. Over four in ten employees (45%) say their employer offers the opportunity to participate in a financial wellness program.
  • Most employees feel mental health wellness programs have become more important in the past year and most are interested in mental health resources and expanded benefits. Four in ten employees (45%) rate their employer’s communications about mental health and work-life balance as excellent or very good over the past year.
  • Most employees remain satisfied with their current job despite decreases in satisfaction with their benefits package and work-life balance. Six in ten employees (59%) are extremely or very satisfied with their current job, which is consistent with the 2021 findings (60%).

“This is the third year of the Workplace Wellness Survey and probably the most meaningful survey report where workplace flexibility, work-life balance, paid time off and leave benefits have become major critical factors for employees,” said Paul Fronstin, director, Health Benefits Research, EBRI.

“In recent years, key metrics like job satisfaction, benefits satisfaction and ratings of work/life balance have remained fairly consistent.  It’s important to note the declines measured this year in overall benefits satisfaction and in ratings of work-life balance, which contrast with stable job satisfaction, and the belief that remote work has improved well-being and underscore the need for employers to ramp up well-being efforts,” said Lisa Greenwald, president & CEO, Greenwald Research.

For this year’s survey, a total of 1,518 American full-time and part-time workers ages 21-64 were interviewed.  Within this national audience — 1,014 workers and an oversample of 504 LGBTQ workers completed surveys — bringing the total to 605 LGBTQ workers.  Information for the survey was gathered through 20-minute online interviews conducted from July 13-29, 2022.  Data was weighted by race, age, gender, income and LGBTQ status to reflect employed Americans ages 21-64.  The margin of error for the total sample of current workers in this study is +/- approximately 2.5%.

To review the complete 14-page 2022 Workplace Wellness Survey presentation, visit www.ebri.org/health/Workplace-Wellness-Survey.

 

The 2022 Workplace Wellness Survey was conducted through the financial support of AARP, Cigna, Edelman Financial Engines, Fidelity Investments, Human Rights Campaign, Mercer, Morgan Stanley, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, OneAmerica, Unum and Voya Financial.
Greenwald Research is a leading independent custom research and consulting partner to the health and wealth industries that applies creative quantitative and qualitative methods to produce knowledge that helps companies stay competitive and navigate industry change.  For further information, visit www.greenwaldresearch.com.

The Employee Benefit Research Institute is a non-profit, independent and unbiased resource organization that provides the most authoritative and object information about critical issues relating employee benefit programs in the United States.  For more information, visit www.ebri.org.

For more information:

Lisa Greenwald, lisagreenwald@greenwaldresearch.com

Ron Dresner, dresner@ebri.org

 

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