Aussie IT workers claim workplaces use wellbeing initiatives to tick boxes

In a new study, IT and computer services workers said their managers showed little concern or empathy for their wellbeing on the day-to-day.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

A new study has indicated that half of Australian workers -- equivalent of 5.8 million Australian workers -- feel that their workplace is only paying lip service to supporting their mental health and wellbeing, despite introducing initiatives that would suggest otherwise.

In conducting a national survey with 1,000 Australian workers on behalf of the Australian College of Applied Professions (ACAP), YouGov found that more than two thirds of workers in IT and computer services share the belief that their workplace has only introduced mental health and wellbeing initiatives to tick boxes, while day-to-day, their management shows little, if any, genuine concern or empathy for their wellbeing.

Workers from the IT and computer services sectors represented the highest percentage to share this belief out of all the industries that were surveyed, the ACAP highlighted. This was followed by workers in human resources and recruitment and project management. Conversely, only 40% of workers in accommodation and food services, and healthcare and social assistances shared this view.

When it was broken down into generation, more than half of millennial and Gen X workers showed they were more likely to believe that lip service was being paid, versus 35% of baby boomer workers.

The ACAP study also that showed some 56% of IT and computing services workers surveyed said they would hide a mental or physical health condition to avoid being judged or discriminated. This was slightly higher than the 53% recorded overall.

It was also more likely among business owners, senior managers and directors, and middle managers, the results of the report indicated.

When workers were asked about how comfortable they feel enough to openly talk about their personal interests, values, culture, and lifestyle at work, more than half said they were comfortable, and this was significantly higher among millennials and Gen X versus baby boomers, while Gen Z sat somewhere in the middle.

Meanwhile, separate research by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Australia has reported that Australians are just as concerned about a cyber attack involving their sensitive personal data being stolen as they are about a cyber attack that disables an essential service. This was particularly pronounced among Australian youth with 42% of those aged 18-24 more worried about their personal data being stolen compared to 37% aged 65 and over, PwC said.

Of the 2,000 Australian consumers that were surveyed, 64% indicated they would consider changing providers if they were impacted by a cyber attack that affected their essential service. For Gen Z and Millennials, this number soared to 77%, which PwC said suggested a lack of brand trust.

When asked about essential service providers stopping supply because of a security incident, a total of 85% of respondents said providers should disclose cyber breaches so that they can choose to use another supplier in the future, 54% agreed providers should disclose this in all circumstances while 31% said if it was more than a temporary disruption.

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