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More than two in five Australians seek workplace flexibility

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Corporate / Mental Health / Australia

More than two in five Australians seek workplace flexibility

LifeWorks Mental Health Index™ reveals more than half of working Australians believe their CEO genuinely cares about employee wellbeing

LifeWorks, a leading provider of digital and in-person total wellbeing solutions, today released its monthly Mental Health Index™, revealing a negative mental health score among Australians for the 21st consecutive month. The overall mental health score for December 2021 was -11.3 compared to the pre-pandemic benchmark, which is an improvement from the previous month (-12.2 in November 2021).

Working Australians believe full flexibility for all employees would work best for their team

  • More than two in five (41 per cent) Australians indicate that having the option of full flexibility – regarding days, hours and location – for everyone would be the best working model for their team. This compares to 19 per cent preferring that all employees are together at the worksite and 10 per cent preferring that all employees work fully remote.
  • More than one-quarter (28 per cent) of respondents report that the most important type of flexibility is having the ability to step away from work to attend to personal issues.
  • When looking at other types of flexibility, 26 per cent of individuals report that the location of work is the most important and 25 per cent of individuals report that hours of work is the most important.
  • Twenty-one per cent indicate that the most important types of work flexibility are days of work (20 per cent) and work attire (one per cent).

Comments from senior vice president and managing director, Asia-Pacific, Jamie MacLennan
“Flexibility has largely dominated the way we speak about the future of work over the last two years and it is clear that having tailored options for how, when and where employees are able to work is becoming increasingly important to Australians. Employees need autonomy and for many, this is a key driver of motivation and performance. It is critical for employers to meet this need in order to demonstrate the levels of trust and value that employees require for their wellbeing both inside and outside of the workplace.”

Many working Australians believe their organisation’s CEO genuinely cares about employee wellbeing

  • More than half (58 per cent) of Australians believe that their organisation’s CEO genuinely cares about employee wellbeing. This group has a mental health score of -5.8, more than five points above the national average.
  • In contrast, 19 per cent do not believe that their organisation’s CEO genuinely cares about employee wellbeing and this group has a mental health score of -22.3, eleven points below the national average. Twenty-three per cent of individuals are undecided on their CEO’s position on wellbeing.
  • Managers are more than 30 per cent more likely than non-managers to believe that their organisation’s CEO genuinely cares about employee wellbeing.

Comments from global leader and senior vice president, research and total wellbeing, Paula Allen
“Employee wellbeing support has traditionally been thought of as a human resources responsibility, however, our data shows that support must be consistent across all departments and management levels for employees to feel valued. Wellbeing needs to be approached from a holistic perspective and be inclusive of employees’ physical, mental, financial and social needs. Incorporating this into organisational culture will ensure employees are receiving the tools, resources, and support they need at an individual level and genuinely feel appreciated by their employer.”

The full Australian Mental Health Index™ report can be found here. This month, the report includes additional insights on the impact of workplace models on teamwork, workplace collaboration during the pandemic, the impact of HR policies on employee wellbeing, mental health stigma and more.

Upcoming event: LifeWorks will be hosting Employers Connect virtually on Wednesday, February 23 at 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. AEST. This year’s annual mental health summit with cover research from the Mental Health Index™, uncover workplace trends from the past year and answer the question, “now what?” Members of the media who are interested in attending should RSVP to

About the Mental Health Index™
The monthly survey by LifeWorks was conducted through an online survey from December 3 and 14, 2021, with 1,000 respondents in Australia. All respondents reside in Australia and were employed within the last six months. The data has been statistically weighted to ensure the regional and gender composition of the sample reflect this population. The Mental Health Index™ is published monthly, beginning April 2020, and compares against benchmark data collected in 2017, 2018, 2019.

About LifeWorks
LifeWorks is a world leader in providing digital and in-person solutions that support the total wellbeing of individuals. We deliver a personalized continuum of care that helps our clients improve the lives of their people and by doing so, improve their business.


Heather MacDonald

Jennifer Farr
Kaiser & Partners

Source: LifeWorks