National Stress Awareness Day is on the 2nd of November 2023, and serves as a reminder of the importance of understanding and addressing stress in our lives, especially in the workplace. Stress can negatively affect employees' mental and physical wellness, and it also impacts the overall wellbeing of organisations.
What is stress?
Stress is a natural response to challenging situations and pressures. It can take various forms, including acute, chronic and work-related stress. It’s important to recognise that stress is not an illness in itself but rather a response to external pressures and challenges. The common stress triggers include work-related pressures, interpersonal relationships and financial concerns.
Among these, financial stress is often found in the workplace and can affect both employees and employers. Employees may experience increased absenteeism and presenteeism, resulting in reduced productivity and effectiveness. This issue is common and carries substantial costs for employers in the UK, not only in terms of lost productivity but also due to the impact on employee's wellbeing and job satisfaction.
The impact of stress on health and wellbeing:
Stress can be apparent in various ways and negatively impact physical health, mental wellbeing and overall quality of life. Chronic stress has been linked to a range of health issues, including anxiety, depression and heart disease. The toll of stress on employees' wellbeing is undeniable, emphasising the need for dynamic stress management to prevent and reduce these health problems. Financial stress can lead to a dangerous cycle where employees' physical and mental health gets worse, further impacting their job performance.
Tips for employers and workplaces:
Employers and workplaces play a pivotal role in managing employee stress, especially when it comes to financial stress. Recognising the signs of stress is the first step. These signs can include increased absenteeism, reduced productivity, employees becoming withdrawn from social interactions and employees requesting emergency payments to help them through the month. By identifying these indicators, employers can provide timely support.
Creating a stress-aware and supportive work environment is equally crucial. This can be achieved in various ways, including offering financial wellness programs, flexible working arrangements and encouraging open communication. Workplace stress reduction programs, which can include yoga classes, mindfulness sessions and stress management workshops, can significantly contribute to employee wellbeing and overall increased productivity.
National Stress Awareness Day highlights the importance of acknowledging stress in the workplace. Stress can harm employee health,wellbeing and organisational productivity whether it comes from financial problems or any other reason. Employers can create a healthier, happier work environment that benefits everyone involved by taking dynamic steps to identify and manage stress. As we approach this day, both employees and employers should remember that stress awareness and management are essential components of a fulfilling and balanced life.
How does PayCaptain help?
PayCaptain contains functionality to help employees manage their money better and build financial resilience:
Benefits calculator: PayCaptain has a handy benefits entitlement checker* which is free to use for employees on the mobile app. The entitlement checker allows the user to anonymously enter the relevant personal information. Only the user’s postcode is needed - for cross-referencing against local authority benefits that may be available.
The benefits entitlement checker takes the user through a series of questions. Upon completion, the user is shown the benefits that they may be entitled to, based on the answers they’ve given. Links to applications forms for potential benefits are also provided to the user.
Payment splitting: This functionality gives the employee the capability to set up automatic payday payments in the app, directly from their net pay. This eliminates the risk of paying essential bills late or missing them entirely.
Employees can set up automatic payday payments to their mortgage or landlord, as well as credit cards or loan repayments. Payments for household or personal bills can be set up as well as payments made to friends or family members.
Money planning tool: This functionality allows employees to calculate their income and expenditure and enables them to create a personalised budget. This gives the employee a much better view of outgoings and the disposable income they have once their financial commitments are met.
Having the knowledge of incoming, outgoings and disposable income will allow the employee to plan their spending better and, in conjunction with other tools in the PayCaptain app, may enable them to build some savings for improved financial resilience.
Savings: Employees can pre-plan the amount to save and it is automatically transferred from net pay. This builds some resilience for times of financial hardship. As the interest rate is currently higher, in an attempt by the Bank of England to slow down spending – the value of savings is increasing.
In Q4 2023, PayCaptain is releasing more groundbreaking functionality – SmartPay.This savings solution incorporates deep personalisation for the user and is fully integrated with PayCaptain’s payroll functionality. By combining deep personalisation with payroll data, users will be prompted to reach their savings goals at highly meaningful points, increasing the chance that the recommendations will be adopted.
Interactive payslips: These are graphical payslips that break down payments and deductions for employees. PayCaptain has adopted the Plain Numbers approach, which means that employers are able to better communicate with their employees through Plain Numbers-certified payslips, giving employees a better chance of making more informed decisions about their finances by simplifying language.
Employees can click on Help icons for more information on how their deductions have been calculated so they know exactly how their pay has been worked out. Help icons explain tax, NICs, student loan and pension calculations directly on the payslip.
Personalised financial guidance: Trusted, impartial and confidential financial guidance from Money Helper can be accessed directly through the PayCaptain app. Money Helper is an organisation that offers help and support, confidential advice and guidance for those struggling with their finances. They have a range of tools and calculators on their website and can signpost users towards help with the cost of living, debt advice and debt management.
On demand pay: On demand pay is where an employee can access up to 50% of their accrued earnings ahead of pay day. This can help ease the burden of a financial shortfall and help employees to meet their short-term financial obligations.
With PayCaptain, monthly paid employees can ease their immediate financial pressures by using the automatic Weekly Advances feature. Employees can access up to £50 of their accrued earnings each week, paid directly into their bank account every Monday morning. These advances are helpful for employees to manage part of their budget on a weekly basis, whilst keeping keep funds protected for their bills and direct debits at the end of the month.
Emergency cash: As well as the Weekly Advances feature, PayCaptain also gives employees the option to access up to £200 of emergency cash, as long as the salary has been accrued. This allows employees to deal with emergencies when they have no savings to cover them.
Pensions: Pensions allow employees to make better provision for later life. Auto-enrolment functionality into workplace pensions is included in the PayCaptain solution with both employers and employees making contributions. Employees also have the option to increase their contributions or make ad hoc payments direct from their payroll to increase their savings for the future.
Employees can also view their pension pot directly from the PayCaptain app, so they keep up to date with how much money they're saving. In a recent development, employees can now see all of their pension pots in one place on the PayCaptain app.
In summary, National Stress Awareness Day reminds us of the importance of acknowledging and addressing stress in our lives, especially in the workplace. Financial stress can have far-reaching consequences, affecting both employees and employers. Organisations can promote a healthier, happier work environment by recognising the signs of stress and implementing supportive measures. In doing so, they not only enhance employee well-being but also support their success and productivity.
PayCaptain Payroll Solutions Limited, www.paycaptain.com is a multi-award-winning Payroll/FinTech company that delivers a fully automated cloud outsourced payroll service. The solution contains many unique and innovative features for employees, helping them to take control of their pay and increase their financial wellbeing.
PayCaptain is a payroll solution that helps employers pay their workforce, regardless of income and personal circumstances. The solution incorporates functionality, however, that's specifically designed to positively impact financial resilience for people struggling with money, or vulnerable and low-income employees.
PayCaptain is the world’s first payroll company to be B-Corporation certified. To read more about B-Corporations, visit www.bcorporation.net
PayCaptain has been recognised and rewarded with two B Corp ‘Best for the World’ awards for being within the top 5% of highest scorers within both the Workers and Governance impact areas in the B Corporation B Impact Assessment. The company has also been included in ‘The Escape 100’ in both 2022 and 2023. The Escape100 is the list of the top 100 organisations to escape to, as awarded by EscapetheCity.Org. PayCaptain was awarded 7th place in 2023 from over 13,500 nominated businesses.
PayCaptain was awarded the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals’ Software Product of the Year Award in 2022, only two years after the solution was launched.
* The PayCaptain benefits entitlement checker is available to everyone in the UK, not just those being paid via PayCaptain.