A report released by superannuation fund, Sunsuper this week has found that more than two thirds (68 per cent) of Australian workers don’t feel in control at work and more than half (54 per cent) feel stressed at least weekly.
The 2018 Australian Employee Insights Report also found that the biggest causes of workplace stress were excessive workload pressure (34 per cent), followed by personal issues with colleagues (16 per cent), lack of work-life balance (15 per cent), lack of job security (8 per cent) and too much change at work (8 per cent).
Scott Hartley, Sunsuper CEO said the results demonstrate that Australian workers are dissatisfied with current working conditions and constraints.
“Research shows us that stressed employees tend to have higher rates of absenteeism, are less engaged at work and aren’t as efficient, so the resilience of employees is important not only from a general wellbeing perspective, but also in terms of a company’s productivity and bottom line,” Hartley said in an interview with Medianet.
The latest results strengthen recent studies from Griffith University that found that interviewed business owners viewed job-dissatisfaction and increased work stress as the primary motivators in their journey to business ownership.
“Ownership of a small business provided most individuals with greater control over the work aspect of their lives,” the study said.
“Interviewees felt they were in control when the decisions they choose to make were based on what they wanted to achieve. This implies that work-life balance requires better consideration of the variety of roles at hand, the availability of the resources to make the preferred choices, and a better system to allocate preferences to those roles.”
However, some business owners found that the integration of several roles was also a key inducer of stress.
“Many interviewees felt overwhelmed by the multiplicity of roles or one that dominated others, thus limiting the opportunity to broaden their lives. Some also found it difficult to acknowledge that there are trade-offs. Clearly, there is a need to feel in control of their own lives in whichever role they play.”
When asked about the ways their employer could ease their stress at work, almost half (47 per cent) of employees said a positive workplace, including confident managers and good teamwork, would help prevent workplace stress and help support those who are stressed.
Other ways companies can help ease stress at work include: setting clear goals and reasonable workloads (41%), flexible working arrangements (34%), stress and compassionate leave (24%), financial wellbeing benefits (23%), training to deal with new technology (23%), mental health services (22%) and physical wellbeing benefits (18%).
The 2018 Australian Employee Insights Report is based on research conducted by YouGov Galaxy on behalf of Sunsuper, of 1,000 Australian workers aged over 18 years.