Do Your Finances Impact Your Work Performance?


Financial stress is impacting the work performance of 50 per cent of Canadian employees polled, says a survey released by the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) on Monday.

“We know that many working Canadians are struggling to make ends meet financially and they need help,” said CPA vice president of operations Janice MacLellan.

“While many Canadians are well-intentioned, our survey results show that they are not making enough progress towards financial health, and ultimately, this is impacting their work and their lives.”

Roughly 52 per cent of respondents say they budget frequently, with an astounding 31 per cent of this group saying that they keep their budget in their head.

Of those who do budget, 52 per cent say they usually or always stick to their budget.

There’s tons of work for employers and employees to improve financial literacy, say the CPA as it supports financial literacy month.

New results also show that working Canadians are experiencing a high level of financial stress, ultimately impacting their work performance, and that too few are keeping a close eye on their finances.

Last September, the CPA highlighted results from its National Payroll Week (NPW) employee survey revealing that nearly half (47 per cent) of working Canadians are living pay cheque to pay cheque.

Survey results continued to illustrate that many Canadians are challenged by debt, are worried about their local economy and aren’t saving enough for retirement.

Currently, 38 per cent of Canadians rely on financial advisors and banks for financial and retirement planning advice. A further 27 per cent lean on friends and family and the Internet for this information.

Canadian workers also have a strong appetite for employer-provided financial education programs, the survey finds, with 82 per cent indicating they would be interested if employers offered information at work.

But, workers have timing expectations -- 54 per cent would prefer that employers offered ‘lunch and learns’ but only 8 per cent would be interested if information was offered after work hours.

“Financial stress affects both mental and physical health which can impact workplace productivity. Increased financial literacy can help reduce financial stress,” said Financial Consumer Agency of Canada financial literacy leader  Jane Rooney.

“Employers are in a unique position to reach people where they are and help them develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to make informed decisions. The results benefit everyone.”  

The CPA continues to champion its key message to ‘pay yourself first’ to prepare for a healthy financial future.

Currently 61% of Canadian employers offer a ‘pay yourself first’ option through payroll, which lets employees set up automatic payroll deductions to direct a portion of their net pay into a separate retirement or savings account.

Of those employers that don’t currently offer this option, an additional one-third are considering making it available.

This option contributes to overall financial health, the CPA says, because it enables employees to save before they have a chance to spend anything.

Financial planning experts recommend saving at least 10 per cent of your earnings.

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