Remote Workers Struggle Most with Financial Anxiety and Benefits Selection as 53% Approach a Financial ‘Breaking Point’

New MetLife survey shows on-site/hybrid workers have better financial health and 63% view benefits as an investment in their future

NEW YORK, October 03, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--While the majority of today’s workforce prefers remote work1 over going to the office, MetLife’s annual open enrollment survey found location may impact much more than just the daily commute.

MetLife’s new survey found that over half of the remote workforce (55%) are highly anxious about their finances (vs. 46% of hybrid and on-site workers) and that this group spends more time worrying about their benefits (55% spent over one hour per week vs. just 37% of on-site and hybrid employees).

"Benefits play a major yet often overlooked role in employees’ overall financial health. A lack of understanding of benefit options is only compounding the financial insecurity remote workers feel today," said Bradd Chignoli, senior vice president, Group Benefits at MetLife. "Benefits can provide financial stability in times of economic turbulence and, when used the right way, are a tool that can even lighten employees’ financial burdens and anxiety."

As the workforce continues to change post-pandemic, meeting employees’ diverse needs – including location – is a growing challenge. MetLife’s survey indicates potential gaps in communication to the remote workforce.

Two-thirds of remote workers (65%) say that a better understanding of open enrollment would help make them feel more financially secure. Potential gaps exist in benefit education for these employees. Consequently, remote employees:

  • Are 2x more likely to say they enrolled in the wrong type of benefits last year

  • Require more information to make the right benefit choices (57% vs. 47% of hybrid and on-site workers)

MetLife’s data also finds that employees who understand and actively utilize their benefits are more loyal, thus proving beneficial for employee retention. Three in five fully remote workers (61%) say their employer’s benefits are a significant part of what’s keeping them at their company, and this is even higher for work-from-home caregivers with children under 18 (72%) and millennial/Gen Z workers (67%).

The state of an employee’s financial well-being is often directly linked to their benefits usage. In fact, 43% of all employees say their benefits have helped them out of financial difficulty this year, and 44% say they have helped improve their overall financial health.

"We’re at a critical moment in the employee-employer relationship. As we look to build more inclusive cultures and further support today’s workforce – including how and where our employees work – benefit communication is vital," said Jenn Kischell, vice president, Workforce Engagement at MetLife. "In today’s volatile economic environment, ensuring workers understand and use their benefits is more important than ever for employees’ well-being, as well as overall retention."

For helpful resources, including videos, articles, and the Make Your MatchTM tool, which offers tailored benefit suggestions, employees can visit www.metlife.com/openenrollment.

1. McKinsey | American Opportunity Survey (2022).

Research Methodology

MetLife’s 2022 Open Enrollment Study was conducted in August 2022. The study was fielded by Rainmakers CSI – an international strategy, insight and planning consultancy. The survey consists of a representative sample of 1,000 interviews with full-time employees, ages 21 and over, at companies with at least two employees. Also included were a Millennial and Gen Z employee boost of 452 and 279, respectively. Millennials were defined as ages 27 to 41 and Gen Z as 21 to 26 at time of fielding.

About Rainmakers CSI

Rainmakers CSI is a global strategy, insight and planning consultancy. Since its inception in 2007, Rainmakers CSI has worked collaboratively with leading companies to help define opportunities for brands, categories and businesses. Its expertise spans across Financial Services, Food and Drink, Beauty, Healthcare, Telecoms, Technology, Entertainment, and Travel. Rainmakers CSI is headquartered in London and its programs and client relationships span all continents, with 50 percent of its work originating in the US. For more information, visit www.rainmakerscsi.com.

About MetLife

MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates ("MetLife"), is one of the world's leading financial services companies, providing insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management to help its individual and institutional customers navigate their changing world. Founded in 1868, MetLife has operations in more than 40 countries and holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.

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Contacts

Liz Harish
929-343-7473
elizabeth.harish@metlife.com