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1 in 4 Aussies would quit job over poor mental health support

Australian workers walking to work in the city. Mental health.
More than a quarter of Aussies are willing to quit their jobs over lack of mental health support, a new report has found. (Source: Getty)

More than a quarter of Aussies would be willing to quit their jobs over a lack of mental health support, a survey of more than 2,000 people found.

In the survey, conducted by job site Indeed, more than two-thirds of workers (68 per cent) said adequately addressing mental health and well-being needs would be key to retaining employees in the future, with 54 per cent believing it would also be important to attract new employees.

Psychologist at Indeed Amanda Gordon said there was a range of factors behind the growing demand for mental health support.

“Some people have found it very difficult to navigate how to go back into the office,” Gordon said.

“Many people, especially introverts, are finding it difficult because they’ve lost the skill of ordinary chit-chat.”

Despite this, half of Aussies said their employers did not discuss mental health and well-being enough in the workplace, and 40 per cent thought they were treated as ‘buzzwords’.

There are risks for employers who don’t provide meaningful mental health support for their workers. More than a quarter (28 per cent) of workers, dissatisfied with their company’s current mental health approach, said they were ‘very likely’ to quit their job, while 41 per cent said they were ‘very likely’ to look for new job opportunities.

“There is a supply shortage of good workers, so if companies want to retain their teams, they need to think about what is going to make people happy,” Gordon said.

Workplaces should be having open conversations about mental health and how people’s needs had changed, Gordon said.

“There could be some real conversation about what work looks like now and in the future, and acknowledging that things are not the same,” Gordon said.

Aussies want a 4-day work week

Almost two-thirds of Aussies (61 per cent) want a four-day work week in the next two years, the report found, while half want a 9-day fortnight.

It follows the news that Unilever is trialling a four-day working week for its Australian employees at full pay, following a successful New Zealand trial.

In that trial, the company found that absenteeism dropped by 34 per cent. A third of employees (33 per cent) reported a drop in stress, while feelings of “strength and vigour” at work increased by 15 per cent.

“People are happier and more likely to put their heads down and work hard for the four days they are there,” Gordon said.

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