Survey reveals workaholics may be happier workers

Australian and New Zealand employees are on-average more highly committed and engaged compared with their global counterparts, according to the latest Qualtrics Employee Pulse survey.

However, the most surprising result of the survey was that employees putting in more than 60 hours a week were the most positive, despite experiencing significant amounts of stress.

The latest study showed employees who work more than 60 hours a week remain one of the most positive groups of workers, despite longer hours and more stress. This group is the most likely to recommend their company to people they know as a place to work, 36 per cent say they’ll definitely stay in their roles, and more than 25 per cent say they nearly always look forward to going to work.

This result illustrates the crucial importance of asking employees what they think rather than assuming. One might assume that people working more than 60 hours a week wouldn’t be happy in their jobs. However, the results show that these employees are actually the most engaged and committed. This clearly demonstrates how a gap can easily exist between what employers think, compared with what is actually happening in the workforce.

The survey also found that employees across ANZ are amongst the highest, coming in at 57 per cent in New Zealand and 56 per cent in Australia, with the US leading the way with 60 per cent. Half of Australians and 54 per cent of NZ employees look forward to going to work in the morning. Employees in the travel and leisure industries are the most engaged (71 per cent) and retail employees (46 per cent) are the least engaged.

The conditions that make people more likely to look forward to going to work are the same as the conditions that drive engagement: having the right equipment; understanding how their role contributes to the company; and having the right level of training.

ANZ employees are the second-least loyal in the world, with 14 per cent looking to leave their jobs in the next two years. The US has the most loyal employees with just 11 per cent planning to leave their jobs in the next two years. Unsurprisingly, given their low levels of engagement, retail employees are most likely to look for alternative employment. Healthcare employees are the least likely to look for a new job.

ANZ has amongst the world’s hardest working employees, with 39 per cent of NZ employees and 32 per cent of Australians spending more than 45 hours a week at work. This compares with 46 per cent of people in Hong Kong and just 14 per cent of people in France.

IT and technology professionals tend to work outside their contracted hours most often (41 percent), and women are more likely than men to work outside their contracted hours (53 per cent versus 45 per cent).

There are interesting statistics from this recent global study that further highlight how important it is for organisations to collect employee experience insights. Having multiple feedback channels across the entire employee life cycle will give businesses the best visibility and understanding. With this information, businesses can then take the appropriate actions to address employee concerns, identify opportunities for improvement, minimise retention risks and create a great place to work.

Bill McMurray, Managing Director – Asia Pacific and Japan, Qualtrics

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