An alarming 46 per cent of Australian workers would rather quit their job than contend with a workplace issue, according to suicide prevention group R U OK?


The R U OK? Australian Workplace Relationships Survey has found that 48 per cent of the 1,554 surveyed workers would resort to taking a day off when faced with a tough time at work.


Conducted in partnership with The Centre for Corporate Health, the survey also revealed the ineffectiveness of Australian workplaces in dealing with difficult problems, and that it is leading to serious detrimental impacts on employee mental health and wellbeing.


The survey also found that managers often lack the skills required to hold the meaningful and often difficult conversations about their work and performance, while only half of those surveyed said they felt they could talk with colleagues or managers about personal issues at work.


An even larger majority of employees (82 per cent) felt uncomfortable bringing up workplace problems with their human resources department, perhaps stemming from a reluctance to ‘formalise’ the problem.


Rachel Clements, co-founder and Director of Psychological Services of the Centre for Corporate Health, said that when workplace issues are not resolved they can lead to workplace conflict and the onset of mental illness.

“We know that once a workplace conflict occurs and if it is not dealt with quickly and appropriately, there is a much higher chance of employees developing psychological problems at work. The aim of this report is to offer workplaces ways to address this widespread issue,” Ms Clements said.


R U OK? CEO, Jaina Nearn, said that the survey shows that organisations need to better understand the import role they play in employee mental health and wellbeing, and how they can proactively stop problems becoming larger.


“Managers and employees need to feel confident in their ability to have meaningful conversations, as well as feel they can turn to someone for support when struggling with an issue impacting on their performance in the workplace,” Ms Nearn said.


The full copy of the survey can be found here