Australian employees are suffering high levels of stress, a survey reveals.
That’s not surprising. Australians overall report declining wellbeing and increasing stress, according to a state-of-the-nation survey commissioned by the Australian Psychological Society (APS).
They also have more depression and anxiety symptoms than those revealed in the 2011 and 2012 surveys.
Younger people are the most stressed and people older than 66 are coping the best, according to the online survey of 1548 people, 999 of whom are employed.
Workplace issues include a lack of feedback, unclear expectations and not feeling valued.
Employees report significantly lower levels of job satisfaction and lower levels of interest in their job compared with previous years.
While most employees feel physical injuries are taken seriously, only 50 per cent feel supported with mental health issues, according to the survey, released to coincide with national psychology week.
Women feel more supported by their managers than men.
This could be because men do not seek support and try to cope on their own, APS executive director Professor Lyn Littlefield says.
“Feedback should be regular and should be both formal and informal. Not just once a year at a performance review,” she said.
Prof Littlefield says temporary stress can be a useful motivator, but when stress reaches a certain level it becomes problematic and people become dysfunctional.
If it continues too long it can lead to depression and anxiety.
Stress-management techniques and making changes to things that are within a person’s control can help, Prof Littlefield says.
The worst thing to do is to attempt to manage it with alcohol or drugs.
“People do try to self medicate, but that does not ever solve the problem,” she said.