Aussie workers feeling "less secure"

Wednesday, 27 April, 2022

Aussie workers feeling "less secure"

With the federal election looming, the latest ELMO Employee Sentiment Index has found just 15% of Australian workers consider the economy as secure; the smallest proportion of workers recorded to date. This is down from 20% in Q4 of 2021 and down from 30% of workers in the prior comparable period of Q1 2021.

Cost of living pressures are also impacting Australian workers with almost a fifth of workers (19%) stating they are not working enough hours to meet their cost of living needs. This is up from 17% in the first quarter of 2021.

Despite a growing proportion of Australians being unable to make ends meet, Australian workers are continuing to work the same average number of hours per week as they were last year (33.1 h in Q1 2021; 33.1 h in Q1 2022).

Workers are also feeling less secure in their jobs than they were a year ago. Only half (50%) currently rate their job as secure compared to 55% in the first quarter of 2021. The current rate is a slight increase from 49% in the fourth quarter of 2021.

However, it seems global conflicts may be contributing to the declining perceptions of economic security. Almost four-fifths of Australian workers (78%) believe global conflict will negatively impact economic security and 44% of workers are concerned that global conflict will negatively impact their job security.

Meanwhile, the proportion of workers feeling burnt out has continued to rise quarter-on-quarter to 46%. This is up substantially from the first quarter of 2021 where just 34% of workers reported feeling burnt out.

A contributing factor to the climbing burnout rates may be the increased work volumes of working Australians and the growing number of workers who feel overwhelmed in their jobs. A third (32%) of workers felt overwhelmed with the amount of work they had to do while almost a quarter (24%) said they had taken on more responsibility at work.

The insights into plummeting economic security and rapidly rising burnout rates are the latest findings of the ELMO Employee Sentiment Index. The ELMO Employee Sentiment Index is commissioned by ELMO Software and conducted by independent research firm Lonergan Research each quarter among more than 1000 geographically dispersed working Australians. The poll data is weighted to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

There is still troubling news for employers hoping the worst of the ‘Great Resignation’ is behind them with 44% of Australian workers still planning to actively search for a new job this year — an increase from 43% last quarter.

Australian employers should expect more resignations and career changes as a third (34%) of Australian workers believe they’ll only stay with their current company for up to 18 months. Slightly more than one in five (22%) say they will stay up to 12 months and 8% anticipate they’ll leave within six months.

ELMO Software CEO Danny Lessem said the latest report highlights that there are some considerable challenges facing Australian workers and businesses.

“The latest ELMO Employee Sentiment Index has uncovered just how Australian workers are feeling about the state of the economy, with some useful insights for our major political parties as they prepare for the federal election.

“Working Australians feel the economy is less secure now than they did a year ago. Workers need to feel the economy is secure if they are going to spend their money instead of saving it away for a rainy day.

“This poor perceived economic security may be contributing to the burnout rate climbing to 46% of workers from just 34% a year prior. This is a big challenge for employers as burnt out workers are not productive workers.

“The findings in the latest Employee Sentiment Index are a reminder that the workplace of tomorrow is very different to the workplace of today. Employers need to adapt to the needs of their workforce if they are going to remain competitive.

“Employers aren’t likely to experience any reprieve from the pressures of the Great Resignation. More than two-fifths of Australian workers (44%) say they plan to actively search for a new job this year.”

Image credit: © Stock Arts

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