The Significant Negative Economic and Personal Impact of "Life Change Events"

April 11, 2024

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Our new study reports a heavy toll of emotional and financial disruption imposed by major "Life Change Events" on both employees and employers alike. Read more here...

A new study out from life event concierge service ApiaryLife is reporting a heavy toll of emotional and financial disruption imposed by major "Life Change Events" on both employees and employers alike. The survey also identifies high negative impact on caretakers of affected individuals. Based on responses from over 500 employees, the survey then confirms these economic and emotional effects via a review of extensive literature on the same topics.

Katie Lynch, Founder & CEO of ApiaryLife, added that her company's customer feedback has consistently demonstrated that employer-provided support for adversely-affected employees "has a myriad of positive benefits for all pillars of their wellbeing -- including, of course, on their physical and mental health, but also their financial wellbeing" and that in similar surveys conducted in recent years, employees are actively asking employers for this very type of support.

Katie also spoke of a few occasions where ApiaryLife experts have saved employee users hundreds of thousands of dollars in corrected mistakes in paperwork! "Happily," she explains, "our ApiaryLife economic models have also shown time and time again that provision of this type of employer funded support offers a clear, and very attractive, return on investment for the employer as well."

Specifically the ApiaryLife survey focused on such areas of Life Change Events as:

-- divorce and relationship breakdowns -- bereavement in the form of grief from loss of a child, spouse, or parent, or grief from miscarriage, or even grief from loss of a pet -- living with and/or caring for those suffering from serious diseases and medical conditions
The overall results were compelling, with a remarkable two-thirds of respondents having experienced a significant life event in the two years pre-dating the research. Of the total population surveyed, 51% reported that, as a result of the life event, their ability to thrive at work was affected by at least 25% (with 25% saying that this was affected by over 50%). Respondents overwhelmingly (80%) expressed the need for employer-funded support during these life and caregiving events.

As regards divorce, for example, a recent study from the University of Minnesota found that individuals going though divorce reported "lower health, poorer job performance and a more negative mood at work." Nearly 44%, this study found, agreed or strongly agreed that the process of divorce had a strongly negative impact on their work.

In terms of employer impact, a Forbes report estimated the economic loss to industry due to serious emotional stress resulting from divorce typically ranges from $75 billion dollars in work pay/productivity to approximately $300 billion per year.

Regarding the prevalence of bereavement and grief in the workplace, a 2019 WebMD survey found that 57% of Americans had grieved over the loss of someone close to them at least once during the previous three years. Crucially, respondents reported physical reactions to grief including fatigue (39%), change of appetite (32%) and headaches (25%). And this was before the pandemic! Benzinga Financial News summed this up with a headline in 2023: "Grief Costs Companies Hundreds of Billions Each Year in Lost Productivity."

As for those living with and/or caring for those suffering from serious diseases and medical conditions, one-third of those employees were responsible for caring for someone with emotional or mental health issues. Within that group, 17% of caregivers of persons diagnosed with dementia actually quit their jobs as a direct result of such demanding caregiving responsibilities. And of those who do attempt to remain in their jobs, 54% typically arrive to their place of work late or leave early with 15% taking a leave of absence. 9% ultimately resign or retire early as a direct result of their caregiving responsibilities.

Employer Impact: The high costs to employers of such less-productive work scenarios is obvious with other illnesses, such as cancer. Cancer treatment alone, for example, accounts for 12 percent of employers' total medical costs in the US, translating into $125 billion spent on direct medical costs. However, what is less reported is that another $139 billion is associated with diminished productivity and lost worktime, either for cancer treatment or for caring for someone with cancer.

To compound this further, in a one-month period, 23% or an estimated 8.8 million employees who are also caregivers reported absenteeism or "presenteeism," i.e., not absent but not entirely mentally present either, due to caregiving.

About ApiaryLife's Economic Model

An interactive resource that allows users to simulate the economic impact of Life Change Events and caregiving scenarios on their in-scope population, Apiary's economic model may be used by employers, insurers, Medicare Advantage and other insurance plans, medical provider organizations etc. These users typically wish to understand the personal and economic effect of certain life events, such as those identified in the survey.

ApiaryLife's Economic Model measures the effect and costs of these situations in terms of lost productivity, absence from work, and attrition of the workforce. Moreover, it is interactive, allowing the user to customize inputs specific to the user's own situation.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/significant-negative-economic-personal-impact-212800727.html

https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/significant-negative-economic-and-personal-impact-of-life-change-events-on-employees-and-employers-alike-apiarylife-survey-finds-588f27e8
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