Only one in five Australian workers (19%) are happy with their career, according to a new study that looks into employee wellbeing.
The Wellbeing Lab Workplace Survey examined 1,000 workers and how they are faring in their profession, and found happiness varied widely depending on people’s career track:
- 42.9% in the consulting industry said they were thriving consistently in their profession
- About a third in electricity, gas, water, and waste services; agriculture, forestry, and fishing; and science and technology were also flourishing in their field
- Only 10.7% in accounting shared the same enthusiasm for their career
- 10% in social services found themselves fulfilled at work
- 8.7% in the legal profession said they were thriving
Across management levels, C-level executives and directors were shown to be almost twice as likely (40%) to be thriving at work compared to their subordinates.
In contrast, those in management (23.8%) and administrative roles (11.1%) and those in sales and customer service (10.2%) were less likely to be thriving in the workplace.
Investments in wellbeing
About 27% of people working in South Australia said they prospered in their chosen field. This could be the result of the state government’s investment in the wellbeing of workers.
Meanwhile, only 12% of workers in Western Australia claimed they were thriving.
In terms of gender, 23.2% of male employees said they were faring better at work, almost twice as high as the 14.1% of female workers who reported the same.
So, what enables employees to thrive in the workplace despite struggles such as physical or mental illness? Gender plays a role in a worker’s likelihood to thrive, but other factors such as having higher levels of positive emotions, job autonomy, and a sense of engagement have given employees a more optimistic outlook in their career, the report suggested.
The survey was conducted by Peggy Kern, a senior lecturer from the University of Melbourne, and the Australian HR Institute.