Aussie workers sick with pressure

New research shows that workplace stress is affecting our health and keeping us awake at night

Australian workers are increasingly feeling the pressure of stress at work, with 54% reporting that they are experiencing more stress-related illness, according to research from Regus, the global workplace provider.

Stress-related illness can worsen or cause a whole series of health conditions ranging from obesity to heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems and asthma.[1]

Similar research conducted by Regus in 2012 found that 38% of respondents in Australia felt their stress levels had risen in the past year, the latest study found that in Australia two-fifths (42%) of workers are now actually losing sleep worrying about work.

The survey, canvassing the opinions of more than 20,000 workers across 95 countries, also found that stress is causing a worrying increase in absenteeism (49%) that is damaging business productivity. It also indicated that employers looking to change this trend should look at flexible working options for workers as means help ease work-related stress.

Other key Australian findings include:

  • 36% of respondents are worried about losing their job;
  • 48% feel less confident about the sector they work in;
  • 42% report that their family and friends have noticed they are stressed by work
  • 43% say that stress is damaging their co-worker’s personal relationships
  • 71% say flexible working helps to ease work related stress

The research also shows that people working in larger firms are more stressed than small businesses – with 61% of workers in companies with more than 250 employees reporting high levels of stress-related illness, compared to 54% of small business workers with less than 40 staff. Further to this, 54% of large firms are seeing more stress-related absenteeism compared to 48% of small companies.

Commenting on the study, CEO of Regus Australia and NZ Paul Migliorini, said: “Stress is clearly on the rise for Australian workers, and work-related worries and the sleepless nights that follow can hugely affect our personal lives. With stress as a known catalyst for health issues, businesses, especially large companies, need to be proactive and address stress related issues in the workforce.

 “There is no one easy solution, but there are a number of approaches that employers who take their care of duty to their workers seriously can take.  Beyond creating a holistic approach to worker engagement and support, structural changes in the workplace such as flexible working can give employees more freedom and control over their working lives.

“Our own experience helping organisations across the world to roll out flexi-work programs, and extensive research in the area, shows that as workers we can be happier, healthier and at the same time more productive.  By alleviating the pressure on workers, business themselves will see the benefits of better productivity and reduced absenteeism – so it really is a win-win situation.”

[1] WebMD


Regus is the global workplace provider.

Its network of more than 1,700 business centres in 100 countries provides convenient, high-quality, fully serviced spaces for people to work, whether for a few minutes or a few years. Companies like Google, Toshiba and GlaxoSmithKline choose Regus so that they can work flexibly and make their businesses more successful.

The key to flexible working is convenience and so Regus is opening wherever its 1.5million members want support - city centres, suburban districts, shopping centres and retail outlets, railway stations,

motorway service stations and even community centres.

Founded in Brussels, Belgium, in 1989, Regus is based in Luxembourg and listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information, please visit: