Canadians’ financial well-being on the decline: survey

Employees worrying about their finances on the job will cost Canadian employers more than $40 billion in 2022, almost double the $26.9 billion in lost productivity calculated in 2021, according to a new survey by the National Payroll Institute.

The survey, which polled more than 3,000 Canadian employees, found a fifth (20 per cent) of respondents said stress related to their finances has directly impacted their workplace performance.

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Nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of workers spend at least some of their workday actively dealing with or thinking about their personal financial matters, up from 68 per cent in 2021. Employees who said they’re financially stressed spend, on average, 29 minutes per day worrying about their finances, while employees who aren’t financially stressed spend just eight minutes per day worrying about money.

The top behavioural indicators of financial wellness were saving, spending and debt utilization, noted the survey.

“It’s convenient to frame employee financial health as an individual problem, but the reality is that it has big implications on businesses,” said Peter Tzanetakis, president of the National Payroll Institute, in a press release. “Beyond lost productivity and decreased engagement, our past research has also shown that financial stress leads to increased absenteeism, decreased employee motivation, strained relationships with colleagues and turnover. There is a clear business case for why employers should pay attention.”

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