75% of staff struggle to focus due to money worries

New research has highlighted that three out of four employees are so worried about finances that they are struggling to focus at work.

Workplace money coaching service Octopus MoneyCoach, which published its findings at the start of the Money and Pensions Service’s annual campaign Talk Money Week (8-12 November), reviewed nearly 350 staff sample case studies. It discovered that 83% thought about money at least every week and 8% had no one to talk to about it.

A total of one in three did not have three months of salary saved for emergencies and 12% had less than £1,000 in savings. Meanwhile, 38% did not have any money in individual savings accounts, 50% had less than a quarter of their assets in investments and 40% did not know what type of pension they had.

In addition, at least half were not on track to achieve their financial goals, as a similar number who wanted to buy a property had less than a 5% deposit and average retirement pots were 40% lower than what was needed.

Octopus Moneycoach CEO and founder Adam Price commented that financial planning is complicated and tends to be something that gets swept under the carpet, with the research showing that the additional uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has left people more concerned about money matters, whatever their pay or level of seniority.

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He explained that these worries can make staff less productive in the workplace and has seen that mental health issues are a growing area of interest within HR departments, while urging them to begin with a focus on helping people manage their money more effectively.

“The benefits extend beyond wellbeing and can often be seen immediately and explicitly on the bottom line. That’s because a lot of people go on to increase pension contributions through salary sacrifice. This helps employees prepare for a better retirement and reduces National Insurance payments for employers,” Price said.