More than three-in-five Australians are experiencing stress at work, but many feel they are unable to turn to their bosses for help.
A new survey of more than 1900 Australians found 64 per cent of respondents are stressed at least once a week at work, slightly higher than the 60 per cent average occurring in the Asia Pacific.
The research by global HR firm ADP also found Australians were among the least likely in the region to discuss mental health problems at work.
Almost one-third (28 per cent) said they would not be comfortable talking to anyone at work about their mental health, significantly higher compared to an Asia Pacific average of 14 per cent.
ADP Australia managing director Eddie Megas said for business owners and and managers there was a duty of care to foster a work environment that prioritised its employee’s mental health and wellbeing.
“While being under pressure is a normal part of life, the number of Australians reporting that they are experiencing stress on a weekly basis suggests we are falling short,” Mr Megas said.
“It is widely accepted stress can cause or exacerbate existing mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression.”
Absenteeism due to mental ill health is estimated to cost the economy up to $17 billion a year.
“Mental health has a huge impact upon people, communities, businesses and the economy,” Mr Megas said.
“Alongside the ethical considerations to creating a supportive and productive work environment, we know there is a strong business case to be made too.”