Australians among the least stressed workers globally

Research has found Australians are amongst the least stressed employees in the world, ranking second behind The Netherlands. Read more here.

  • Australians are amongst the least stressed employees in the world, only second to the Netherlands.
  • The least stressed Australian workers are on average men, aged 55+, working in the accounting sector and with an average tenure of 1-2 years.

Australia is world-renowned for being a relaxed country, an acknowledgement supported by research commissioned by specialised global recruiter Robert Half, which found Australians are amongst the least stressed employees in the world. In the global rankings of eight countries, Australia ranks second best (52.4) on a scale of 0-100 with 100 being not stressed at all. The results are published in the recent report, It’s Time We All Work Happy®. The Secrets of the Happiest Companies and Employees

In the global rankings of eight countries, Australia ranks second best (52.4) , only second to the Netherlands (55.9), followed by the UK (52.0), USA (51.5) and Belgium (48.9). Germany tops the list as the country where employees are most stressed (47.6). 

Employee workplace stress by country

Country   Stress level
1.    The Netherlands 55.9
2.    Australia 52.4
3.    UK  52.0
4.    USA 51.5
5.    Belgium 48.9
6.    Canada 48.8
7.    France 47.7
8.    Germany 47.6

Source: Independent survey commissioned by Robert Half based of more than 23,000 office workers globally.

Who are Australia’s most stressed employees? 

Stress levels go down with age. According to the research, the most stressed Australian workers are those aged 18-34 (51.5), followed by professionals aged 35-54 (52.2). Senior workers are the least stressed, with a ranking of 54.7 for workers aged 55+, suggesting experience plays a part in managing stress levels. 

Gender also impacts stress levels, as Australian women are more stressed in the workplace than men, ranking their stress levels as 50.1 compared to their male colleagues at 54.6. 

Industry can also play a role, with people working in healthcare industries (47.4), manufacturing (48.0) and human resources (48.5) more stressed than those working in the finance industry (54.5), IT industry (54.7), administration (57.1) and accounting sector (58.6).

Stress levels are highest for those with longest tenure. While stress levels are lowest for those who have been in the job for 1-2 years (55.9) and less than one year (54.0), they are at their highest for those with an average tenure of 11-20 years (51.4) and more than 21 years (44.3).

Nicole Gorton, Director of Robert Half Australia said: “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. 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.”

“Stress can lead to ‘burn out’ which in turn can contribute to high levels of absenteeism, employee turnover, 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. Other company initiatives include offering employees increased sick leave, sabbaticals, or encouraging more social activities with staff outside the office.” 

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About the research
This study was developed by Robert Half and Happiness Works and conducted by an independent research firm. The research is based on survey results of more than 23,000 working professionals who are currently employed on a full or part-time basis across eight countries with the results segmented by geographic location. 

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Gabrielle Nagy 
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