The top source of stress in Indonesia is money


Most people believe that overall well-being can only be achieved through good nutrition, well-balanced diet and exercise. They are wrong. According to the Health Living Index study by AIA, money is the top source of stress factor in Indonesia. Indonesian household finances cause them more stress than work, relationships, or even their physical health.

Only 25% of households would be able to cover unexpected expenses up to Rp 500,000. — Bank of Indonesia

Financial stress spills over into work: PwC found that 67% of workers report struggling with financial stress, which means over two-thirds of the working population are susceptible to migraines, depression, and anxiety. Plenty of research highlights the effects that employee financial stress has on business performance. According to PwC, workers are spending three or more hours per week focusing on financial issues instead of their jobs. Of employees who report being stressed by finances, 12% miss work due to those problems, and 31% feel that their productivity is affected. PwC estimates that for a company with 10,000 workers, all these issues related to financial stress can cost up to $3.3 million in a single year.

Benefits of improving employee financial health

From a business perspective, it’s critical that employers take action to support their employees’ financial security, considering that 1 in 3 employees admit to being less productive at work due to financial stress. We also know that employees value employer support for financial issues. According to a survey conducted on Commonwealth’s lower-wage workers, 76% of the respondents claimed that employee benefit program offered by employer would increase loyalty.

JUST Capital also revealed that several companies are more progressive in recovering financially in comparison to competitors due to their ability in giving better treatment and support to their employees during the pandemic. Other than having better recovery, JUST found that businesses with strong corporate response to financial crisis are able to outperform other businesses in their industries. The analysis showed that companies that are “prioritising their workers” are not only seeing the fastest recoveries but also seeing “outperformance relative to their industry peers.” Thus, focusing on workers pays off in more than one ways.

1 in 3 employees admit to being less productive at work due to financial stress. — PWC

Benefits of improving employee financial health

No single tool or approach can address all employee financial needs. Employers should consider providing programs and tools that better equip employees to handle a financial emergency. While many employers do provide employer loans (such as kasbon), they lock up valuable cashflow and are still unable to provide flexibility and instant solution to the employees. For example, many of the lower class workers struggle with volatile income or expenses due to numerous reasons, including unanticipated or increased bills and fluctuating work hours. For these employers, earned wage access programs that allow employees to access a portion of their pay early can help them align the timing of their income with an expected or unexpected expense to avoid late fees or penalties.


It is evident that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Indonesian workers struggle to cover unexpected expenses between paychecks especially the blue collar workers, causing substantial financial stress and vulnerability that cost businesses millions in lost productivity and high turnover. The COVID-19 pandemic is a defining moment for employers — an opportunity to double down on their employees’ well-being and that of their organizations. Some have already begun to enhance their health, wellness, and leave benefits, but there are other simple and responsible financial wellness solutions employers can implement to support their employees’ financial security.

About wagely

wagely is a financial technology solution that gives employees in Indonesia access to their earned wages and financial education, reducing financial stress for millions of lower and middle income workers who struggle with unexpected financial expenses between paychecks.

Businesses that partner with wagely see significant cost reductions through increased productivity, engagement and employee retention. Employees love wagely because it eliminates the need for payday loans, bank overdrafts and other fees, which protects them from falling into debt traps.

wagely is designed to help each and every user achieve financial resilience and wellness. Implemented in companies nationwide, wagely serves thousands of employees and industries across the board — restaurants, factories, hospitals, retail stores, and many more. For more information, visit

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