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Money worries affect productivity of one in four

Physical fatigue caused by losing sleep worrying about money is a major concern

A quarter (25%) of people have money problems so substantial it affects their ability to do their job.

This is according to research published by the CIPD and Close Brothers Asset Management in their Financial Wellbing: the employee view report. The research found that women are more likely than men to admit that money worries are affecting their work, with nearly three in 10 (28%) women reporting the problem compared with less than one in four (23%) men.

Physical fatigue caused by lost sleep from worrying about money is the most common explanation for how financial concerns have influenced people’s productivity, with one in five employees (19%) citing this.

Charles Cotton, reward and performance adviser at the CIPD, said businesses should be doing more to combat the problem.

“This report shines a light on how financial wellbeing can impact not just employee health but also workplace productivity,” he said. “Money worries affect people regardless of their age, gender or level of pay, and with one in four admitting it negatively impacts their work it’s clear that organisations should be focusing on financial wellbeing as part of their workplace agenda. This will become increasingly important over the next 18 months, as rising inflation is likely to lead to a pay squeeze and increased concerns about personal finances.”

Jeanette Makings, head of financial education at Close Brothers Asset Management, explained the benefit to employers. “Money worries now weigh heavily on a huge number of employees across the country, impacting their performance in the workplace, so it is more important than ever that employers recognise the role they can play in helping staff to understand and improve their financial wellbeing,” she said.

“Equipping staff with the tools they need to take control of their finances now and for their future will not only improve their own wellbeing, it has been proven to boost productivity levels – benefiting both business and workers.”

Separate research by Aegon has revealed that just 8% of people speak to a financial adviser about financial decisions.

Steven Cameron, pension director for Aegon, said people shouldn't feel they have to make financial decisions alone. “For some people, the support they need may be relatively simple and there are free sources of guidance available, for example from Pension Wise on pension freedoms,” he said. “Providers and possibly their employers can also provide basic information.”