A loonie is pictured in North Vancouver, in April, 2014. A report from the Canadian Payroll Association says a significant number of employees admit that their workplace performance has been eroded by the stress of their personal financial situation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Stress about personal finances hinders performance at work: Canadian survey

The survey also found 43 per cent would have trouble if their paycheque was delayed by a week

A significant number of employees admit that their workplace performance has been eroded by the stress of their personal financial situation, a report from the Canadian Payroll Association says.

Association president Peter Tzanetakis said the annual survey paid increased attention to how much time Canadian employees are distracted by their personal financial situation.

Nearly one-quarter of nearly 4,285 employed people surveyed said they agreed or strongly agreed that stress about personal finances had an impact on their performance at work with about 70 per cent indicating such matters occupy up to 30 minutes of a typical work day.

And about 43 per cent of respondents agreed that ”stress related to personal finances has had an impact on my workplace performance.”

The rising costs of living and overwhelming debt were among the biggest sources of stress identified by the online survey conducted by Framework Partners between April 24 and June 18.

“The key message has always been that … over 40 per cent of Canadians are living paycheque to paycheque,” Tzanetakis said in an interview ahead of the survey’s release Wednesday.

“But as the survey has evolved over the years, we’ve gone a little bit deeper to understand some of the sources of the financial stress — and also some solutions as well.”

The 2019 survey found, among other things, that 40 per cent of respondents felt “overwhelmed” by their debts to some degree — including nine per cent who ”strongly agreed” they felt that way.

Tzanetakis said, apart from the amount of debt, there’s a concern about the nature of the debt — with one in three saying they carried credit card debt, which may charge a higher rate of interest than mortgages, lines of credit or vehicle loans.

“And four in 10 (with credit card debt) say it’s going to take more than a year to pay it off. I think that’s what’s leading to this feeling of being overwhelmed by debt.”

The survey also found 43 per cent would have trouble if their paycheque was delayed by a week, including 13 per cent who indicated it would be “very” difficult.

About one-quarter of respondents said they spent all of their net pay from each period and nearly two-thirds of respondents said they spend less than their net pay in a typical pay period.

The survey cannot be assigned a margin of error because online polls are not considered random samples.

Tzanetakis said about 55 per cent of Canadian businesses offer to automatically move some of an employee’s pay into a separate account to encourage savings but only about one in three Canadian employees participate.

“So there’s still lots of room for improvement. We’re encouraging employers to really look at that and use the expertise in their payroll departments to set up such a plan and manage it for them,” he said.

“It really does contribute to an alleviation of some financial stress if you’re not worrying about savings as much.”

The survey also found about three-quarters of respondents would be interested in general financial education programs in the workplace, including 27 per cent who said they’d be “very” interested.

“Certainly there’s a role for government and the educational system. … We’re just trying to raise awareness among all stakeholders at this point in time.”

READ MORE: Millennial Money: Make your funds move at the speed of life

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Northwest mines lengthen crew rotations in response to COVID-19

Northern Health confident precautions sufficient enough to keep work camps open

Coastal GasLink gives $100K to United Way efforts in Northern B.C.

Organization’s COVID-19 Relief Fund benefits seniors in isolation, among others

Fisheries and Oceans Canada lifts at-sea observer requirements due to COVID-19

Fisheries Management Order went into effect April 2 and will remain for 45 days

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Northern Health says it’s ready for possibility of COVID-19 surge

Health authority confident with inventory of ventilators

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

Most Read