Australian workers in the IT industry are among the world’s least stressed, according to a global survey by specialist recruiter Robert Half.
Across all industries, Australian workers scored highest on an index of stress at work (meaning they experience the lowest levels of stress), second only to workers in the Netherlands.
In the eight country ranking, workers in Germany were the most stressed, followed by those in France and Canada.
Within Australia, those in the IT industry were the least stressed after those working in accounting and administration. Healthcare, manufacturing and HR workers were the most stressed.
Gender, age and salary were found to play a significant role in workplace stress levels. Australian women were found to be more stressed in the workplace then men.
According to the research, based on a survey of 23,000 people, the most stressed Australian workers are those aged 18 to 34, followed by professionals aged 35 to 54. Senior workers aged 55 and above are the least stressed, suggesting experience plays a part in managing stress levels.
The research also found those on an income of $50,000 to $74,999 are the least stressed in the workplace, while the most stressed were those earning $150,000 or more.
Going by the research, male IT workers in Australia aged over 55 on a $60,000 salary are some of the least stressed individuals on the planet.
“Stress in the workplace is sometimes unavoidable with many subtle yet insidious contributors. Stressed out employees not only negatively affect company performance, but can also impact overall team morale,” said Andrew Morris, director of Robert Half Australia.
“Eliminating all work-related stress in the office may not be possible, but taking proactive steps to reduce it can improve staff performance, engagement and overall workplace happiness,” he added.
A recent, separate study by mental health technology group Medibio found close to a third of corporate Australia is suffering from some form of mental illness, in particular depression, anxiety and stress.
Stress is a common response to tough events or situations. Some stress is normal and stress itself is not anxiety or depression. However, severe and ongoing stress may be a risk factor if it persists, according to not-for-profit mental health organisation Beyond Blue.
Beyond Blue suggests a number of ways people can reduce the stress they are experiencing such as exercising more, finding a better work life balance and reaching out for support.
Robert Half suggests employers have a role to play in ensuring their staff do not suffer from stress.
“Stress can lead to ‘burn out’ which in turn can contribute to high employee turnover, absenteeism and lost productivity. The most successful companies have systems in place to effectively monitor and manage stress levels, whether in the form of seeking regular employee feedback or increasing temporary staff headcount to help manage high workloads,” Morris said.
“Other company initiatives include offering employees increased sick leave, sabbaticals, or encouraging more social activities with staff outside the office,” he added.
If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, contact Beyond Blue on 1300 224636. You can also chat online or email. If you are experiencing a personal crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.