LifeWorks reveals that more than 2 in 5 Aussies seek workplace flexibility

Paula Allen, Global leader and Senior Vice President for research and total wellbeing at LifeWorks

LifeWorks, a leading provider in-person total wellbeing solutions, released its monthly Mental Health Index™, revealing a negative score among Aussies for the 21st consecutive month.

The overall mental health score for Dec 2021 was -11.3 compared to the pre-pandemic benchmark, which is an improvement from the previous month (-12.2 in November 2021).

LifeWorks Mental Health Index on work flexibility

More than 2 in 5 (41%) 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% preferring that all employees are together at the worksite and 10% preferring that all employees work fully remote.

More than one-quarter (28%) 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% report that the location of work is the most important and 25% of individuals report that hours of work is the most important.

21% indicate that the most important types of work flexibility are days of work (20%) and work attire (1%). Senior vice president and managing director, Asia-Pacific, Jamie MacLennan gave the following remarks on the mental health index.

“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.”

LifeWorks report on CEO empathy on employee wellbeing

58% of Australians believe that their organisation’s CEO genuinely cares about employee wellbeing. This group has a score of -5.8, more than five points above the national average.

In contrast, 19% do not believe that their CEO genuinely cares about employee wellbeing and this group has a score of -22.3, eleven points below the national average.

23% of individuals are undecided on their CEO’s position on wellbeing.

Managers are more than 30% more likely than non-managers to believe that their organisation’s CEO genuinely cares about employee wellbeing.

Global leader and senior vice president, research and total wellbeing, Paula Allen gave these additional insights on the Mental Health Index report.

“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 work culture will ensure employees receive the resources and support they need and genuinely feel appreciated.”

The full Australian Mental Health Index™ report can be found here.

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.

LifeWorks upcoming event

LifeWorks will host Employers Connect virtually on Feb 23 at 11a.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