Younger workers are demanding a mentally healthier work environment

Oct 07, 2014

A recent survey by Instinct and Reason has found that when it comes to mental health in the workplace, the new generation of workers are demanding a healthier work environment, and are more likely to leave a job if it’s not.

The researchers surveyed more than 1,000 Australian workers and the results suggest that younger workers are more likely to leave a job if they consider the workplace to be a mentally unhealthy environment.

Of those surveyed, 53% or workers aged under 30 had left a job at least once due to a poor mental health environment. This compared to 55% for workers aged 30-39, but only 26% for workers aged over 60.

“While Australian workers used to endure mentally unhealthy workplaces, the new generation of workers will not,” the report said.

“This means that while a mentally healthy workplace is important in attracting and retaining staff today, it will be even more important in the future as younger workers move through the workforce.”

For younger workers aged 30-39, 44% see a mentally healthy workplace as essential or very important. This compares to just 26% for older workers (aged over 60).

When searching for a new job, again a mentally healthy workplace remains a major priority for the younger generation of workers, with nearly 40% of those under 30 considering it either essential or very important and a further 40% seeing it as fairly important. This compares to workers aged over 60, with 26% seeing it as essential or very important and 37% fairly important.

The Instinct and Reason survey coincided with the launch of Heads Up, a nationwide campaign by Beyond Blue and the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance to encourage business leaders to foster and promote a mentally healthy workplace and address conditions such as depression and anxiety.

The release of a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report showed that ignoring mental health in the workplace costs Australian businesses $10.9 billion a year. However, the return on investment (ROI) for businesses that act on mental health is quite impressive. The PwC report found that for every dollar spent there is an average return on investment (ROI) of $2.30. The returns in some industries are much higher.


Create better workplace health: register with Heads Up

To discover how you can implement change in your workplace and work towards attracting the best employees, register for Heads Up, a joint initiative of Beyond Blue and the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance (MHWA).

Heads Up on LinkedIn 

If you would like more information and resources about how to create a more mentally healthy workplace, please visit our LinkedIn company page, which is regularly updated with stories and links related to the issue.

If you would like to join the discussion about a mentally healthy workplace, please visit our LinkedIn group page and become part of the conversation.


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