The truth about WORK­PLACE WELL­BE­ING

From more flexi-time to sub­sidised gym mem­ber­ships, we re­veal what Aussie work­ers need to feel happy and healthy at work – and what more they ex­pect from em­ploy­ers

Sunday Tasmanian - - Body + Soul - MEET OUR EXPERTS STU­ART TAY­LOR Cor­po­rate re­silience ex­pert JAC­QUI MAN­NING Psy­chol­o­gist

Here’s a puz­zling statis­tic: although al­most 90 per cent of Aus­tralian work­ers feel that com­pa­nies have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to look af­ter their health and well­be­ing, 56 per cent of or­gan­i­sa­tions have no for­mal poli­cies in place. In fact, de­spite the grow­ing aware­ness of the im­por­tance of a healthy life­style, 70 per cent of em­ploy­ees don’t feel their work­place sup­ports this prac­tice enough.

These are just some of the con­cern­ing fig­ures un­cov­ered dur­ing body+soul’s na­tion­wide YouGov Galaxy poll, con­ducted in part­ner­ship with Med­ibank. While they might come as a sur­prise to some, the experts aren’t so shocked.

“I think Aus­tralian busi­nesses are stuck in a cor­po­rate model of short-term goals, fo­cus­ing on per­for­mance by quar­ter,” says Stu­art Tay­lor, CEO of Spring­fox, the Aus­tralian arm of The Re­silience In­sti­tute. “Com­pa­nies seem to for­get that if they in­vest in a well­be­ing strat­egy, em­ployee per­for­mance goes up, not down.”

When com­par­ing in­dus­try sec­tors, it’s health and ed­u­ca­tion work­ers who mostly feel that their well­be­ing isn’t be­ing sup­ported at work. “Car­ers of­ten end up with fa­tigue be­cause they tend to over-care,” he adds – and this at­ti­tude of work­ing to your lim­its is symp­to­matic of most Aus­tralians.

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