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Why the Australian workforce isn’t a happy one

Local employees are increasingly unhappy at work due to stifled creativity and inflexibility, a new report on the Australian workforce has found.

A study by fivefootfour has shown only 54 percent of employees are happy whilst working and 25 percent feel depressed for most of the day at least once a week.

With Mental Health Week just passed, the study highlights the importance of happiness in the workplace identifying the drivers that motivate workers in their jobs. The three main issues highlighted are lack of flexibility, stifled creativity and misrepresentation of the ambitions of Gen Y in the workplace.

fivefootfour co-founder Trudi Sampola says: “Australian businesses need to get more flexible and start recognising the importance of understanding their employees’ values and motivations on an individual level.”

With 60 percent of people bored at work, the report shows workers want a job that allows them to think creatively.

Encouraging employee happiness in this way is the best way to increase productivity and business growth. Sampola suggests that businesses need to “identify the creative thinkers within the team, and give them the opportunity to integrate this value into their role, will reap the rewards.”

From the results, fivefootfour have created the Ideal Workplace Composition as a guide for businesses. The main drivers identified are flexibility and balance, potential for growth, ambition and creativity.

The study shows focus on Gen Y is also necessary for business progression, with 35 percent of the generation revealing they will be looking for a new job within the next 12 months.

Sampola says workplaces need to follow in Germany’s footsteps where flexibility and work-life balance promote greater productivity.

“Germans are very clearly output focused versus placing a currency on the number of hours spent in the workplace. Australia needs to change the workplace game, less emphasis on clocking up the hours and more emphasis on getting the job done.”

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Maree Sorbello

Maree Sorbello

Maree is a first year student at Sydney's University of Technology, and is one of Dynamic Business' star interns.

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