Half of Australians working during COVID-19 report stress due to changes in work routines and organisation

Among those working at home almost half reported feeling lonely or isolated

Half of Australians (51%) have reported feeling stressed due to changes in work routines and organisation, with the pandemic taking an emotional toll on employees both in Australia and around the globe, an Ipsos survey has found.

Other stresses reported by Australians include personal circumstances such as family pressures, feeling lonely and isolated, and employer-related issues such as job security.

In Australia, the key work-related challenges resulting from the pandemic were:

  • Increased anxiety around job security (51% said they had experienced this to a large or some extent vs 56% globally);
  • Stress due to changes in work routines and organisation (51% large/some extent vs 54% globally);
  • Difficulty finding a work-life balance (45% large/some extent vs 50% globally); and
  • For those working from home, feeling lonely or isolated when working from home (45% large/some extent vs 50% globally).

The other key challenge for those working from home was the difficulty experienced in getting work done at home due to inadequate home office setups or equipment, which was reported by a third of Australians working from home.

The two challenges where Australians differed most from the global average were:

  • Difficulty getting work done at home due to inadequate home office setups or equipment (34% in Australia vs 46% globally); and
  • Stress due to family pressures, such as childcare (36% in Australia versus 45% globally).

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Ipsos Essentials, which tracks citizen attitudes and behaviours throughout the global pandemic, found that that almost a third of employed citizens worldwide feel disengaged from their work. But just as important is the impact on employees’ emotional state. While two in five of those who feel disengaged are frustrated and bored, nearly half of those who are engaged with work feel optimistic about the future.

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Base: 14,500 adults aged 16-74 across 16 countries between December 3rd – 6th 2020.

Ipsos Australia Director, David Elliott, said: “The impact of the pandemic on the world of work will have potential long-term implications for at least a segment of employees. However, for many, the need for support is now. The disruption in work and the resulting stress should be cause for concern for many employers. While 2021 may have brought a welcome change in date, it did not bring a sense of relief or hope for more stability. It is during these times that employers can demonstrate their commitment to their employees through recognition of the pressures and providing appropriate support by providing safe workplaces.”

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