Money worries are impacting employees’ wellbeing and productivity, with 14 per cent of Britons admitting to spending an hour or more of their working day worrying about and sorting out personal finances according to research from Scottish Widows.
Removing this stress would for 26 per cent of people result in doing more exercise, while 20 per cent said they would spend more time with their partner and 31 per cent saying they would sleep better. The research found 26 per cent felt that staying awake worrying about the future means that they are too tired to focus the following day at work.
But 85 per cent of people agree that having a plan in place helps to ease worries and anxieties.
The research found 39 per cent of people worry about whether they will have enough to live on after retirement, but only 20 per cent worry about whether they should actually be contributing to a pension and only 26 per cent would start planning for retirement 20 years ahead of time.
University of Hertfordshire psychology professor and specialist in behaviour economics Karen Pine says: “Having a plan gives a person a sense of control and this is known to reduce feelings of stress and worry. Even taking a simple action to alleviate a nagging worry brings relief, whereas avoiding taking action can make the problem seem larger and more difficult to tackle. This builds up the fear – and then further procrastination – and a vicious circle is ignited. While people can adopt all kinds of strategies to avoid facing their fear during the day, it can creep up on them when their barriers are down and often manifest itself in sleep disturbance. However, the sense of being in control that comes from planning can help these feelings to dissipate and restore peace of mind.”
Scottish Widows key accounts pension development manager Robert Cochran says: “It is no surprise that many are losing sleep over our finances, given the squeeze on family finances in recent years. With life expectancy continuing to increase it is encouraging people are recognising the need to save for their retirement however those putting holidays and shopping before saving for their future need to urgently rethink their priorities to ensure a comfortable retirement and a less stressful life now.”