10 March 2015, Written by Antony Scholefield


MOST Brisbane workers are less stressed than they were five years ago, and while Sydneysiders and Melbournians are panicking about understaffing, Brisbane workers are more concerned about looking after their health and dealing with old technology.

Understaffing was the biggest concern nationally but only 16.3 per cent of Brisbane workers nominated it as their primary cause of workplace stress, in an online survey from workplace providers Regus.

The city's top concerns were health issues and outdated technology, followed by understaffing, working to deadlines, tough office hours, their bosses, and their colleagues.

Brisbane workers were the least concerned about travelling to work. Only two per cent said commuting was a top cause of stress, well below the national average of five per cent.

Conversely, over 10 per cent of Brisbane workers said tough working hours caused them the most stress, compared to six per cent nationally.

The professional environment and flexible working arrangements were also above-average concerns in Brisbane.

Regus CEO Paul Migliorini says "flexible working" was a buzz-phrase in 2014 and would remain so in 2015.

"Stress levels are mounting due to a combination of factors, including being under-resourced and over-worked, feeling deskbound, and not having adequate time to exercise and recalibrate," he says.

"Flexible working conditions provide this outlet.

"The freedom to work away from the main office from time to time is now seen as a key factor in achieving an ideal work-life balance, with 59 per cent of Australian respondents across all the major cities reporting that flexible workers are much better off."

According to the Regus survey, most Australian workers believe that freelance workers, remote workers, and part-timers have better work-life balance.

Nearly 52 per cent of workers claimed to be more stressed than five years ago, and that proportion is even higher if it ignores Adelaide - where a mere 45 per cent of workers said stress levels are rising.

The survey portrays Adelaide as an outlier in various categories. In the South Australian capital, nearly 25 per cent of respondents nominated dud technology as a top cause of stress, while the nationwide panic over understaffing barely registered at all.

In Brisbane, only 49 per cent of workers claimed to be more stressed than half a decade ago, compared to 53 per cent in Melbourne, and 55 per cent in Sydney.

Regus distributed the online survey in August 2014 to more than 100 countries.

On the global stage, Australian stress levels have risen less than the world average, but Australians are more likely to cause stress in their colleagues.

While understaffing was the top concern in Australia, most workers across the world were - like Brisbane - more worried about a lack of exercise and obsolete technology.

Author: Antony Scholefield





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