The Choosi Workplace Report 2018

As a nation, Australians are spending a significant amount of time at work, often putting in long hours and not finding the time for many breaks during the working week. With the fast pace of business today and the demands placed upon employees by employers, there has been a greater focus placed on work-life balance and wellbeing to address this.

The Choosi Workplace Report is the seventh instalment in a research series that aims to explore the key barriers and drivers behind financial and social behaviour in today’s modern society. The report examines Australian workers’ views on a range of issues, from work-life balance and wellbeing, to dress codes and pet peeves.

The Choosi Workplace Report 2018 [infographic]

Wellbeing in the office

Perhaps an indication of the fast pace of life and the stresses associated with certain jobs, a fifth (19.4%) of workers say they can go a whole week without leaving their workplace at all during work hours. Further to this, more than half (53.7%) do not leave their workplace during working hours for between three and five days of the working week. This could perhaps be the reason nearly half (48.9%) of workers regularly eat lunch at their desk.

While Australians are clearly putting in significant hours at work, they are not experiencing the break needed whilst on annual leave. Nearly two-in-five (38.0%) say they became sick during a period of annual leave in the past year, and a fifth (19.8%) of those surveyed say they had to take sick leave within a fortnight of returning from such leave. Furthermore, over a quarter (28.9%) of workers hadn’t taken any sick leave at all over the past year.

With people spending so much time at work, it also means Aussie workers are assessing the environment they’re working in and the benefits of being employed there. In particular, Australians want a workplace that has an emphasis on work-life balance, as well as attractive benefits. Over three-in-five (62.2%) say that workplace benefits and culture influence them when they are choosing a job, with flexible hours being the most important factor (67.5%).

Pet peeves in today’s workplace

Given the amount of time Australians spend at work, frustrations with co-workers’ habits or behaviours can often come to light in the workplace. For the most part, complainers or people complaining was a top pet peeve (20.5%), while the most annoying personality traits are passive aggressive colleagues (14.9%) and ‘know-it-alls’ (13.9%).

Considering the close proximity many colleagues work in, it’s unsurprising that workers having poor hygiene is a top pet peeve for 11.4 per cent of people. Subsequently, if a hygiene issue arises, over half of men (52.4%) would tell a co-worker they had body odour, while 87.0 per cent of people believe that warnings should be given to co-workers when there is a lack of personal hygiene. When it finally comes to confronting co-workers over issues at work, nearly three-in-five workers (58.9%) have confronted colleagues, fortunately with the majority of these cases (82.4%) being resolved thereafter.

The cost of working

The research also shows that Australia’s love of coffee is as strong as ever, with our workforce buying a staggering 4.6 billion coffees every year – enough to fill 64 Olympic swimming pools. This equates to a spend of $18.7 billion each year, surprisingly more than workers will spend on their lunch each year ($17.1 billion).

Furthermore, Aussies are spending over $8.5 billion on clothes, shoes and accessories for work every year, with women spending $1 billion more than men. One reason for this could be related to workers worrying about what colleagues may think of them. Almost half (47.0%) of respondents think their co-workers judge them on their clothes, while more than half (55.8%) think their customers or clients judge them on their clothes.

What is clear from this research is that the modern Australian workplace presents both opportunities and challenges to employees and employers alike. The ever-changing ethos throughout workplaces across the country, differing attitudes towards dress codes and strong views on workplace culture will likely remain a bone of contention for some time to come.

Stay tuned for our ongoing research that continues to explore the key barriers and drivers behind financial and social behaviour in today’s modern society.

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Posted: 13 Apr 2018

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