Emotional Wellbeing


Mandy Kloppers

Here’s How Being Underpaid at Work Can Cause Stress and Impact Your Mental Health

Getting underpaid at work isn’t just unfair, it’s unhealthy. Unfortunately, it’s a common practice in the average workplace. And underpaying employees results in faster turnover and underperformance.  

What’s even worse is the potential toxic attitudes that can take over the company when an employee is underpaid. Even when a company is underpaying for the short-term benefits, it doesn’t get them far in the long run. An underpaid employee is less likely to be engaged at work and is more likely to have one (if not all) of the following mental health issues.  

Poor Performance 

Income directly affects your engagement and productivity at work. Companies with the highest employee engagement and the lowest active disengagement are typically paying their employees fairly. Reports reveal that employees with the highest engagement at work also have better customer service, more productivity, fewer accidents, and increased profitability for the companies they work for.  

While income is only one of the several things affecting your engagement, it plays a large part. Underpaid jobs can leave you feeling unappreciated and less motivated to do your best work. It can also cause you to question how much you’re worth to your job.  

Lower Morale 

Over 22 million employees in America are disengaged at work due to being underpaid. Having low morale contributes to illness, mental health issues, and other detrimental factors. One unhappy employee can cause a ripple effect throughout the entire workplace.  

When you’re being underpaid at work, it affects your overall energy and attitude. That negative attitude can affect the energy of your co-workers and superiors as well. Anyone you work closely with is especially vulnerable to your negative attitude and can result in poorer performance as well.  

Less Allegiance 

Being underpaid at work can cause you to flatline in your ambition towards your job. If you feel like your employer doesn’t care about you, you’re far less likely to go the extra mile. When you don’t feel like your employer is looking out for you, you could end up watching the clock more than you search for opportunities to improve.  

Underpaid employees are more likely to do the bare minimum at work just to get the job done. This affects the quality of work and the likelihood of the company achieving its goals. Compared to employees who are well-compensated, underpaid employees are also less likely to be promoted to higher-paying positions.  

More Likely to Resign 

The most common way to understand how to deal with being underpaid is by quitting your job. 

However, if you genuinely enjoy what you do and just want to be better compensated, that isn’t a good option. MarketWatch shares that 45 percent of employees switch jobs due to their salary. It’ll be harder to focus on your work if you’re constantly thinking about leaving your job.  

If you decide to take the freelance route, you can keep the paychecks coming with the easiest check stub maker on the market. 

If You’re Being Underpaid at Work… 

If you’re being underpaid at work, understand that you aren’t alone. Many people experience this and allow it to affect their mental health. You don’t have to be one of them — take the time to speak with your employer about how your salary is affecting your productivity, ambition, and overall health.  

Your health is important and deserves to be prioritized, so talk to your HR department today! 

Mandy X




Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash