65% say they are already living paycheck-to-paycheck
A Harris Poll paints a troubling picture about America’s health care workers. The majority of those surveyed said stress about their personal financial situation has had a negative impact on their sleep (64%), mental health (59%), self-esteem (56%), physical health (53%), and relationships at home (53%).
More than half of health care workers (52%) are feeling less confident about their personal financial situation compared to a year ago, and 79% are at least somewhat worried that economy changes will have a negative effect on their personal financial situation in the next six months. The situation is already grim, with 65% saying their household lives paycheck-to-paycheck and 48% expect to need a short-term loan in the next six months.
The biggest worries for the majority of health care workers are paying for groceries (58%), rent/mortgage (57%), gas for a car (56%), and utility bills (53%).
The survey found that a majority of health care workers (71%) say their employer cares about their mental and physical health and the same proportion say their employer gives them the flexibility they need to manage their personal life during work hours.
Despite the financial challenges, health care workers are interested in even more flexibility. The majority (58%) said they would be willing to reduce their paycheck for more flexible working hours. Nearly three-quarters (73%) say it is important to them that their employer provides tools and resources to help them manage financial stress.
"With the ongoing healthcare labor shortages plaguing this country, it's very disheartening to see that so many of those who remain are struggling. With inflation and the holidays coming, we need to get smart about how we help our healthcare workers. Hiring bonuses and raises that are offset by rising living costs will not translate to building sustainable workforces," said David Coppins, co-founder and CEO of IntelyCare, which sponsored the survey, in a statement.
Other key findings include:
According to the report, there are avenues for health care organizations to consider as well. Answering the call for more scheduling flexibility is one, as 30% of health care workers would be willing to reduce their paychecks by 10% or more for more flexible working hours. There's also a need for adequate resources or benefits to help workers manage financial stress, as 46% of health care workers do not believe their employer provides this access.