Employees burdened by poor work-life balance, burnout, and lack of productivity

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In its 2022 Wellness at Work Report, people management platform Employment Hero has revealed that 52 per cent of employees rate their work-life balance as average or poor, 53 per cent feel burnt out from their work and 43 per cent rated their productivity as average or low.

The annual report, which surveyed 1,007 workers across Australia, also revealed that compared to last year’s report, the number of employees who rate their work-life balance as average or poor has risen from 46 per cent and the number who reported feeling burnt increased from 50 per cent. Only 57 per cent of employees rated their productivity as high in recent months, which has dropped significantly from last year’s 72 per cent.

Meanwhile, employees who stated that they had poor work-life balance at 76 per cent are more likely to also have felt burnt out and those who felt burnout at 35 per cent are more likely to feel that their productivity was low, according to the report. In addition, employees with poor productivity were 280 per cent more likely to feel a poor sense of work-life balance.

Alex Hattingh, Chief People Officer at Employment Hero, said: “The insights from this year’s Wellness at Work Report show that employees who feel supported in their wellbeing by their employer are more likely to be positive, productive and loyal. In fact, 76 per cent of workers who rated their employer’s efforts to improve wellness as ‘good’ agreed they were more loyal as a result, while 84 per cent of workers who rated their employer’s efforts to improve wellness as ‘poor’ agreed they were not loyal. Not only is looking after employees’ overall wellness the right thing to do, these are valuable takeaways for businesses who need to be increasingly prioritising talent retention and attraction in today’s competitive, disruptive and uncertain market.”

Hattingh continued, “Mental health struggles and burnout, for many of us, have been more of a reality than ever before. From our report, we know that 42 per cent of respondents still feel uncomfortable discussing mental health in the workplace and 36 per cent are concerned about mental health stigma. Dealing with the anxiety of total uncertainty that comes with a global pandemic is territory none of us have ever navigated, which in itself is stressful enough. As we fast-track getting back to ‘normal,’ this is a very different and unique transition, and managers do need to step up. Our people, our best assets, need to be given the psychological safety to ask for help and needed time out, so together you can make a dedicated plan for getting through these tougher periods.”

Financial wellness is also cited in the report as one of the greatest threats to employees’ overall wellness status this year, with 56 per cent reporting they were stressed about money. Concerningly, 48 per cent of workers are uncomfortable when it comes to discussing their finances with their employer and only 39 per cent are comfortable initiating the discussion.

Hattingh commented, “There is a genuine need for employers to address the issues uncovered in the financial wellness findings. Not only did 19 per cent of employees claim to have lost their motivation at work due to financial stress, 16 per cent claimed it had made them feel tired and distant. Financial stress is top of mind for employees this year, employers will not be able to ignore these warning signs.”