|Copyright:||Investment Weekly News via VerticalNews.com|
|Source:||Investment Weekly News|
While the U.S. economy is showing signs of recovery, nearly three-quarters of Americans are worried about their jobs and are trying to make ends meet, according to a recent national survey1 by The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: HIG).
The Hartford’s 2010 Benefit Landscape Study found that many Americans are working more, spending less, but still find themselves struggling financially, announced Ron Gendreau, executive vice president, The Hartford Group Benefits, today at the annual conference of the Disability Management Employer Coalition. In a keynote speech titled, “In the Aftermath of The Storm: Life in a Recessionary/Post-Recessionary Work Environment,” Gendreau said The Hartford surveyed 1,000 full-time workers in April about the economy’s impact on work and home life.
“Thirty-seven percent of consumers said they feel they have experienced ‘severe’ financial impact due to the recession. Many have made cutbacks in their spending, dipped into savings and retirement accounts, or taken on new jobs. But Americans continue to have a shaky financial situation,” said Gendreau, who leads the top-selling group disability insurance organization in U.S.2 “Our survey also found that only about half of workers who are offered disability insurance are taking advantage of this benefit that helps provide a safety net if they lose income due to a disabling injury or illness.”
The poor economy has translated into extra work and stress for Americans. Nearly one in four (24 percent) of those surveyed said they have additional work or an increased workload, and 17 percent said they feel as though they need to put in more hours at work. Almost three-quarters of Americans (72 percent) feel moderately stressed, with one third feeling “very” or “extremely stressed.” Plus, this stress is impacting workers’ productivity.
When asked how stress is impacting their work environment, respondents’ top answer was having less patience with co-workers (38 percent), followed by taking longer to complete work (19 percent) and taking work home to finish (19 percent).
Discussing productivity, Gendreau outlined the importance of managing employees’ absences appropriately. “With a lean workforce and tighter budget, can you afford to have an employee out for up to six months?” he asked employers at the San Diego conference.
An integrated approach to managing lost time helps employers boost productivity while lowering costs, Gendreau said. Earlier this year, The Hartford launched an innovative solution to track and manage both occupational and non-occupational leave. The Hartford Productivity Advantage integrates the insurer’s group disability and workers’ compensation insurance with its leave management services to help employers minimize lost time while maintaining productivity.