Peace of mind through financial confidence

AFS Insights

A healthy mind is an asset

May 1-7 is Mental Health Week.

Each year 1 in 5 Canadians experience a mental illness or mental health issue, 5 in 5 of us – that’s all people – have mental health. Mental health is impacting the Canadian workplace.

The Manulife Wellness Report is an assessment of existing workplace wellness measures of Canadian employers. The 2022 report highlights that a sizeable portion of Canadian workers are struggling to take care of their health and well-being, resulting in a significant drop in productivity throughout the workforce.

Post-pandemic challenges:

  • An average 48 days per employee were lost in 2022 due to health-related absences and presenteeism,
  • Absences and presenteeism are costing employers close to $645 million annually,
  • 18-24 year-old workers have poorer results in key mental, physical and financial health indicators combined with higher productivity loss compared to older age groups

The pandemic put new pressures and strains on Canadians, and as a result, we’re seeing potential effects on their health continue three years later. According to The Wellness Report, the average number of days lost to absences and presenteeism has increased by 7 days compared to data from 2021, and the health of younger Canadians (18 to 24-year-old workers) shows worrying trends. The data also shows poor sleep is associated with decreased levels of physical and mental health – with work-related stress being the top contributor to poor sleep.

However, The Wellness Report identified that workplace culture, including the availability of programs and support from management, has an important influence on employee health. The report identified that employees of the top scoring participating organizations were more aware of the programs available through their employer to support their physical and mental health.

Top five financial concerns

More than half of workers worry a great deal about an aspect of their personal finances.

  • Credit card debt
  • Not having enough emergency savings
  • Not having enough retirement savings
  • Repaying student loans
  • Current financial situation

Stress continues to seep into the workplace, affecting employers’ bottom line.

As much as people try to keep their personal and work lives separate, many find it hard to leave their financial concerns at home. And this added distraction is affecting job performance – making stress not only a personal issue but a business issue that has real costs for employers.

Greater engagement is connected to stronger financial health.

Only 1 in 5 Canadian employees now describes their financial situation as very good/excellent, but those with a financial advisor and/or formal retirement plan are more likely to say they have a very good/excellent financial situation. The more engaged people are with their finances, the more optimistic they are about their situation. One-on-one support that encourages this positive behaviour makes a difference.

Life is full of challenges and surprises. Let’s work together to drive the positive behaviours that can help workers keep their financial lives on track through them all.

World Day for Safety and Health at Work is April 28

Check out upcoming courses from the Canadian Mental Health Association to ensure your workplace is psychologically healthy and safe.

CMHA Psychological Health and Safety Professional Certificate: 


For more information, reach out to your Arbutus Financial team member.

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To read the full report see below:

The Wellness Report 2022: Key Findings

2022 stress, finances, and well-being report