Personal financial problems are a drag on productivity

par Andrew Rickard | December 09 2016 11:30AM

About one in three Canadians are distracted at work because they are worrying about money.

Sun Life Financial's most recent Canadian Health Index reveals that 29% of Canadians are not focused on their work because they are thinking about financial issues. As for the source of this stress (respondents could give more than one answer), 45% said they are worried about personal or household finances, 32% are anxious about trying to maintain a budget, and 31% are concerned about meeting unexpected expenses. The survey also revealed that one third feel insecure about their overall financial health.

Asked what is preventing them from improving their situation, 48% of the respondents blamed their current income, 25% said it was their mortgage and credit card debt levels, and 24% attributed it to the fact they were contract or temporary employees.

Anxiety and other mental health issues

Many people are also unaware that their companies offer programs to help them deal with anxiety and other mental health issues. While a previous Sun Life survey found that 58% of Canadian employers offer one or more workplace wellness initiatives, only 26% of the employees who participated in this survey believed they had access to one.

"There are two conclusions to draw from this. First, a large number of working Canadians don’t know about the wellness programs available to them in their own place of business," reads the report. "Second, the high percentages of Canadians who say they’d be willing to participate in a variety of wellness programs if they were available to them represent a significant engagement opportunity."