Is A Lack of Financial Wellness Affecting the Workplace?

The workplace environment has been evolving over the past few years across North America. This has developed through taking into consideration different aspects that can be improved with helping employees take care of their well being, specifically their health. According to Manulife’s Health and Wealth research, this has pointed out that mental, physical and financial health are inextricably linked. All three require the same level of attention to be balanced with an individuals’ health. However, financial health is developing as an urgent situation for Canadian employees in the workforce. Canadian employees productivity and engagement in the workplace is being affected by the ongoing issue of a lack of financial wellness that is also affecting their mental and physical health.

Is A Lack of Financial Wellness Affecting the Workplace?


This article explains how employees lack of financial wellness for their financial health and how it affects their wellbeing and their productivity in their workplace. 

Financial Wellness is a thing?

Saving money 1

Financial wellness is a significant element of an individual’s overall physical and emotional wellness. It is a signal of how an individual manages their financial life, from budgeting, managing financial debt, retiring planning and being financially prepared for emergencies and the impact these have on mental and physical health.

What is the Reality of Financial Wellness in the Workplace?

40% of Canadians identified themselves as being financially unwell and are more likely to report feeling stress associated with their personal financial hardships from financial management issues. Manulife’s health and wealth research identified in 2016 that 40% of Canadians are experiencing a lack of financial wellness. This has been affecting employees emotional, mental and physical health, lowering their productivity at work. Financial wellness is starting to develop awareness as there is a growing need for individuals’ financial health to receive the right financial education to develop their financial wellness.

Manulife conducted a survey in 2015 to receive further enlightenment concerning the poor personal finances management playing a role in mental health challenges for many Canadian employees: 

  1. 20% of employees said they’re financially unprepared
  2. 33% of all workplace disability claims were related to mental illness 
  3. 90% of employers identified stress as the most significant reason for these claims
  4. 45% of employees identified personal finances as the leading cause of their stress
  5. 60% of the financially unprepared delayed or didn’t obtain various services aimed to improve their health due to financial constraints

Close to half of Canadian employees have been experiencing stress lead primarily through the management of their personal finances. A lack of financial education focusing on improving personal financial management for individuals has resulted in these various challenges that Canadian employees are currently facing. The management of personal finances for Canadian employees in the workforce has been developing as a primary factor with contributing stress to their everyday life. This has led towards financials stress extending an unhealthy relationship with the mental health for professional individuals.

Is Financial Debt affecting Employees Mental Health?

Photo by Tom Pumford on Unsplash

Mental Health has been developing awareness across the Western world over the recent years as different concerns have been growing across the topic. According to the Mental Health Foundation, mental ill-health has been researched to affect the management of personal finances. Financial debt has been seen to be a factor that can trigger things such as anxiety or depression.

Half of United Kingdom adults that experience financial debt also live with different kinds of mental illness. Financial debt that has developed into a factor of anxiety due to a lack of financial education and support from creditors.

According to a 2010 study from the Royal College of Psychiatrists

Financial debt has developed over the years has been developing another dimension upon anxiety from a result of lacking financial education on financial management, budgeting etc This points in the direction of professionals in the workplace experiencing a lack of financial wellness that has resulted in influencing other aspects of their health in their everyday life , especially  affecting their workplace productivity and engagement.

Does Poor Financial Wellness lead to Poor Health?

From the Canadian employees in 2016 that identified themselves with experiencing a lack of financial wellness, some of them also identified themselves as  less likely to engage regularly in any healthy activities. 64% from the financially unwell group identified themselves with not engaging in eating fruits and vegetables. 79% from the same group identified with engaging with healthy nutrition. 45% identified with not engaging with exercise. 68% identified with being financial well and engaging with exercise. Averaging both of these groups only 51% of the financial unwell group are in good physical health. This brings us to the bigger picture that poor financial wellness can lead to poor health for individuals.  

The individuals that identified themselves as being financially unwell also identified with more likely to experience financial stressors. 81% that are financially unwell also identified with experiencing stress hanging money. Only 40% identified with being financially well with managing money. 88% from the financially unwell group identified with always having concerns about their personal finances. 41% identified with being financially well with having concerns with their personal finances. 49% of the financial unwell group expressed an issue feeling distracted at the workplace due to financial issues. This illustrates that as employees are having their financial health affected is starting to affect their productivity and engagement in the workplace.

Is A lack of Financial Wellness affecting Workplace productivity?

Canadian Employees Grpahic

Individuals from various backgrounds in the workplace are growing in experiencing a lack of financial wellness concerning their personal finances that is developing a bigger issue of affecting their productivity and engagement in the workplace. According to Manulife, Canadian businesses are already familiar with the alarming costs associated with workplace mental health issues. In an average week, 500,000 Canadians miss work, and a whopping 30% of disability claims and 70% of disability costs are associated with mental health issues and illnesses.

If there continues to be an ongoing lack of financial education for employees, these figures could possibly increase over the next 2- 5 years and this can create new issues that can affect Canadian businesses in different ways. Furthermore, employees will continue to have their mental and physical health be affected in more intensive ways from a growing lack of financial wellness for their financial health.

Where to Now for Financial Wellness?

Although this research from different perspectives can be very overwhelming and disheartening, this provides direction of building a positive future of financial wellness for individuals and corporations to engage in recreating a positive picture for financial health. The development of financial education for individuals to improve their financial wellness is an urgent requirement with improving  the holistic wellness for employees and improving workplace productivity.



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