The vast majority (92 per cent) of white-collar workers say they’re stressed about their finances, according to a new survey by BrightPlan.

The survey, which polled more than 1,400 employees, found workers who are financially stressed reported impacts on their mental (72 per cent) and physical health (60 per cent).

Nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of respondents said financial stress has impacted their social well-being and 72 per cent of these workers said they’ve passed up opportunities to spend time with family, friends and co-workers because they couldn’t afford to.

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Half said financial stress has impacted their engagement (50 per cent) and productivity (48 per cent) at work. On average, they’ve lost one day of work per week due to financial stress. Respondents cited inflation (96 per cent) as the No. 1 source of their financial stress, followed by a potential recession (93 per cent), rising interest rates (90 per cent) and market volatility (89 per cent).

The majority (85 per cent) of employees said they have debt, with 48 per cent of these workers saying they have more debt than is manageable. A third said they have no emergency savings or only enough for up to two months, while 52 per cent are setting aside less than 10 per cent of their income each year for retirement, or nothing at all.

And while nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of respondents described their financial literacy as ‘high’ or ‘very high,’ only 18 per cent correctly answered at least four out of five basic financial literacy questions.

“The impact of financial stress on people’s mental and physical health is well established, but few studies have examined how this can affect our relationships and our social health,” said Marthin De Beer, founder and chief executive officer of BrightPlan, in a press release. “Employers need to recognize that when workers are stressed about their finances, this carries over into all aspects of their well-being, which ultimately affects their performance and engagement at work.”

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