Financial pressure is the leading cause of stress, according to new research published in the Cost of Living Crisis report.

A staggering 34 percent cited this reason as the primary cause of stress in the survey.

Financial woes have now overtaken relationships as the leading cause of stress for employees, when compared with Champion Health’s previous report.

Financial stress is followed by stress caused by relationships (32%) and parenting (27%).


How is financial pressure affecting employees?

Financial stress is also affecting productivity at work too; more than one-in-ten of all employees say financial stress is hindering their ability to perform their job.

Also, financial stress is linked with more severe symptoms of depression and anxiety – Over half of those with clinical depression also experience financial stress. 

Just 24 percent of those without symptoms of depression experience financial stress.

In addition, female professionals are 33 percent more likely to experience financial stress.

Those with an unhealthy relationship with money scored 20 percent lower on a validated wellbeing score, revealing a link between poor wellbeing and a poor relationship with money.

On average, those experiencing financial stress report feeling ‘fatigued’, whereas those not experiencing financial stress are ‘energised’.

It was also found that younger employees are twice as likely to be affected by financial stress than older colleagues (35% of 25–34-year-olds vs 17% of 45-54-year-olds)


Financial wellbeing

Harry Bliss, CEO and Co-founder of Champion Health, said that while the findings were worrying, the data helped highlight the importance of financial wellbeing and its effect on overall wellbeing. He added that the findings should jolt leaders and businesses to take the wellbeing of their teams ever more seriously.

Bliss said: “The last six months have been extremely tough on every employee, and I’m extremely concerned by the results of this report. Just as the world began to return to something resembling normality, new global crises have emerged, resulting in increased stress on the wellbeing of our people. 

“What we’re seeing is a workforce under continuous pressure, both financially and mentally. From the rising cost of living to the long shadow cast by a new war in Europe, organisations must do more to support their people.

“We need to see a significant step-up in the amount of investment made not only in improving financial wellbeing, but employee wellbeing too. As the data shows, financial wellbeing, mental health and physical health are all intrinsically linked. I call on leaders to address these challenges holistically, through a personalised approach for each employee.”

“At its most extreme, those experiencing financial stress are more than twice as likely to experience thoughts of suicide or self-harm. This alone must galvanise businesses to act. Companies can help to turn this dangerous pattern now. It’s not just a business challenge, this is a moral challenge too.”






Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.