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Aussie workers at breaking point: ‘Wake-up call’

Aussies are working longer hours, taking on more responsibilities and banking their annual leave.

Image of Australians walking through city and worker feeling stressed.
Aussie workers say their mental health and productivity have taken a hit due to the rising cost of living. (Source: Getty)

Aussie workers are at breaking point as the cost-of-living crisis takes a toll on their mental health and productivity.

New research from ELMO Software found two-thirds of Aussie workers believed the rising cost of living had had a negative impact on their mental health, with women (72 per cent) under more pressure than men (59 per cent).

More than half (54 per cent) of the 1,002 workers surveyed said financial stress was having an impact on their physical health, while 44 per cent said it was hindering their productivity in their job.

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ELMO Software CEO and co-founder Danny Lessem said it was worrying that women were the hardest hit.

“Historically, we know women are more likely to be underemployed and feel they’re not working enough hours, and that’s something that came through in our results,” Lessem said.

“More than 20 per cent of women believe they aren’t working enough hours, compared to just 13 per cent of men.”

Job security was also a major concern for workers, with more than a quarter (27 per cent) anticipating redundancies at their companies in the next three months, and a similar amount (26 per cent) worried their job would be axed.

To avoid getting fired, 54 per cent of Aussies have taken on extra responsibilities in the past three months, while 37 per cent felt they needed to work harder or longer hours. About a fifth (17 per cent) are banking up their annual leave in case they are made redundant.

“These findings should serve as a wake-up call that, to avert a burnout crisis, companies need to take proactive steps to support their employees, whether that is through financial education, mental health support or flexible working arrangements,” Lessem said.

Most Aussie workers had made changes to their habits to help offset the rising cost of living, ELMO found, including cancelling streaming services (34 per cent), unsubscribing from shopping emails (26 per cent) and selling their stuff (22 per cent).

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