Skip to main content
Workplace wellbeing culture and vaccination policies impacting Australians’ mental health
Corporate

Workplace wellbeing culture and vaccination policies impacting Australians’ mental health

LifeWorks Mental Health Index™ indicates that more than one third of Australians want employers to implement mandatory vaccines in reopening policies

LifeWorks, a leading provider of digital total wellbeing solutions, today released its monthly Mental Health Index™, revealing a negative mental-health score among Australians for the 16th consecutive month.

Key findings:

  • Overall mental-health score of -11.9 compared to the pre-pandemic benchmark, representing a slight improvement from June, when the score reached its lowest point since October 2020.
  • Managers were 60 per cent more likely than non-managers to request mandatory vaccinations upon the return-to-workplace.
  • Seventeen per cent of respondents feel that the culture of their organization does not support their personal wellbeing. This group has a mental-health score of -24.3.
  • Eighteen per cent of respondents are unsure of their company’s culture of support. This group has a mental-health score of -13.6.
  • Sixty-five per cent of respondents feel that the culture of their organization supports their personal wellbeing. This group has a mental-health score of -9.5.

Strong relationship with work peers contributing to improved mental health:

  • Seventy-three per cent of respondents indicate that their relationship with work peers has remained the same compared to before the pandemic. This group has a mental health score of -8.0.
  • Fourteen per cent of respondents report an improved relationship with work peers. This group has a mental health score of -15.8.
  • Thirteen per cent of respondents report a worsened relationship with work peers. This group has a mental health score of -24.9.
  • Managers are more than three times as likely as non-managers to report an improved relationship with their work peers compared to before the pandemic.
  • Parents are nearly three times as likely than non-parents to report an improved relationship with their work peers compared to before the pandemic.

Comments from senior vice president and managing director, Australia and Asia-Pacific, Jamie MacLennan

“As the Delta variant continues to spread across the country and ongoing lockdowns reemerge, Australians are facing not only uncertainties and concerns regarding their health – both physically and mentally – but also increased frustration. The pandemic has not only transformed the way employees assess their workplace’s wellbeing program, but it has also drastically increased the level of its importance. Employers are now considering wellbeing offerings that go beyond support for physical health alone. It is essential to provide holistic programs that consider employees’ total wellbeing and unique needs. As employees adapt to the post-pandemic workplace, it is essential that they feel supported in their total wellbeing.”

Mixed views on vaccination policies with one third favouring employer-mandated vaccine policies:

  • Thirty-five per cent of respondents want mandated vaccination policies implemented by their employer. This group’s mental-health score is -10.3.
  • Forty-two per cent of respondents do not want employer-mandated vaccination policies. This group’s mental-health score is -12.1.
  • Twenty-three per cent of respondents are uncertain about employer-mandated vaccination policies. This group’s mental-health score is -12.0.

Comments from global leader and senior vice president, research and total wellbeing, Paula Allen

“As physical health continues to be a consideration in return-to-workplace discussions across Australia, it is important that conversations about mental health do not take a back seat. We needed time to adjust to working from home and will need to adjust to returning to the workplace. Australian employers need to foster environments where their teams feel welcomed, valued and listened to. Supporting employee wellbeing requires a holistic approach and now more than ever, must be prioritized by business leaders in order for their employees to feel safe.”

The full Australian LifeWorks Mental Health Index™ report can be found here. This month, the report includes additional insights on the impact of remote work on mental strain, reasons for missed time from work due to illness, employees’ ideal work situations and more.

About the Mental Health Index

The monthly survey by LifeWorks was conducted through an online survey from June 30 to July 12, 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.

ID-CORP, ID-MH, ID-AUS

Heather MacDonald
LifeWorks
media@lifeworks.com
0011-1-855-622-3327

Catherine Snider
Kaiser & Partners
catherine.snider@kaiserpartners.com
1-416-419-8333

Source: LifeWorks