The recent pandemic and the consequent multiple lockdowns have led to the evolved employee perceptions. The pandemic has brought a sense of realization about the significance of well-being and overall health. The latest report by Atlassian and PwC Australia titled ‘Return on Action’ report 2021 reiterates the emerging importance of mental health.
It suggests that about 64% of U.S. and 69% of Australian workers, across generations and income levels, are willing to turn down a promotion in order to protect their mental health. The research involved surveying 3500 workers across Australia and the U.S., majorly focusing on the consequences of transformed work models on employees and shifts in their priorities, in the wake of the pandemic.
Career Goals vs Mental Health Goals
Majority of workers agree that mental health and well-being pose a bigger challenge than achieving career goals.
Over a period of 18 months, employees have transitioned to prioritizing mental health and well being over rigorous corporate lifestyles. As per the report, US and Australian employees would now rather choose to spend more time with family than stressing over work.
To be able to better balance their work and life, over 50% of US and Australian employees admitted that they’d consider switching jobs to access remote work opportunities to guard their mental health. In fact, 41% of the Australian participants say they are willing to quit a job if they feel their employer's views and values do not align with theirs.
Further, more than one-third of Australian employees look to their employer as the main source of mental health support.
Salary: No longer a dominant motivational driver
Another important aspect is the involvement of Gen Y, which is quite adamant about their beliefs, since they wish to see positive results from changing economic scenarios worldwide. They are firm on driving to new levels of social activism to bring about a positive change in the workspace and employability as a whole.
66% of Australian and 61% of the US respondents feel that their salary is not the only thing that keeps them moving along, but the company or employer ought to have a stance and raise a voice, when facing an unprecedented societal issue.
If the employer acknowledges the issues put forth by workers and acts on it, then 52% of the US and 55% of the Australian employees are willing to contribute in the long run.
74% of employees agree businesses should be just as concerned with their social impact as their financial results.
Leaders need to step up to show more support & care
The report suggests that employers ought to be open about work related mental health issues in order to have a more inclusive and interactive workspace. "[CEOs] can play a huge role in paving the way and making a much healthier society. The onus is on us to step up and show support and care", said Alyson Watson, founder and CEO of Modern Health.
The findings from the report clearly emphasize on the importance of employee-employer relationship as to how crucial it is for the company to understand the needs of its workforce, suitability of workspace and the overall environment. Employers should have frequent interactive sessions with their employees and listen as well as adhere to their requirements and preferences to make a better working space and to enhance overall productivity. In addition, it indicates that companies should focus on right investments ensuring future sustainability and consistent returns from business, keeping in view the environmental and social attributes of the company.