Australian workers are happier and less stressed the older they get: Survey

Australian workers are happier, less stressed and more interested in their job than their more junior colleagues. Read more here. 

Research from specialised recruiter Robert Half shows senior Australian workers are happier, less stressed and more interested in their job than their more junior colleagues. 

Generally, Australians are happy in their jobs. According to the research conducted among 2,000 Australian employees, on a scale of 0-100 , employees in Australia rank 68 when questioned about happiness in their jobs. More specifically, workers over the age of 55 are the happiest employees as they score 70 on a scale from 0 to 100. Employees aged 35-54 are the least happy in the Australian workplace with a score of 67, closely followed by employees aged 18-34 (68). 

The report, It’s time we all work happy™: The secrets of the happiest companies and employees, identifies the factors that influence employee happiness in the workplace, and highlighted that stress levels decrease with age, with just over one in four (26%) workers aged 55+ finding their job stressful, compared to 29% of those aged 35-54 and 30% of employees aged 18-34 [1]. 

Hectic schedules, tight deadlines and stress can play havoc with personal lives, and the results again suggest work-life balance also gets better with age as 67% of Australian employees aged 55+ are satisfied about the balance between their work and other aspects of their life, in comparison to those aged 35-54 (59%) and those aged 18-34 (57%).

Australians also find their work more interesting the older they get. Three in four (75%) employees aged 55+ find their work interesting, compared to 66% of those aged 35-54 and 62% of those aged 18-34. Being interested in one’s job seems to be accompanied by professional fulfilment, which also gets better with age as 66% of employees aged 18-34 and 70% of those aged 35-54 find the work they do to be worthwhile, a percentage that spikes to 82% for employees over the age of 55. 

Nicole Gorton, Director of Robert Half Australia said: “Happy employees are an essential component of any thriving business as workplace happiness can have a tangible impact on productivity and profitability. Employees who are happy in their job are generally more productive, engaged, creative and less likely to leave the organisation, which directly impacts the bottom line and thereby enables companies to remain competitive.”

“Even though the workforce will inevitably be dominated by millennials as Baby Boomers are gradually leaving the workplace, multiple generations today are working alongside each other. In order to leverage the benefits every generation brings to the workforce, it is therefore important that all employees are happy at work. Companies need to take measures to invest in their staff’s job satisfaction. Offering appreciation for a job well done, providing professional development opportunities, and conducting regular performance reviews are all examples that can help ensure less tenured workers are satisfied in their job.”

[1] The workplace scores are based on an index from 0 to 100, where 0 is the worst possible outcome and 100 the most favourable.


About the research
The annual study is based on the results of an online survey of more than 2,000 workers in Australia conducted in the third quarter of 2016 by an independent research company. In analysing the data, a post-sample weighting methodology was used to match respondents by age, gender, education level, occupation/role and job sector. 


Katherine Mills
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7757
E: [email protected]