The Australian Institute, in partnership with beyondblue, has launched the inaugural Go Home On Time Day, a new, light-hearted initiative that aims to inspire a serious conversation about work-life balance.
The national Go Home on Time Day happens on Wednesday November 20, and Aussie businesses of all shapes and sizes are encouraged to participate in this virtuous initiative. Business owners can do so by postponing those last-minute meetings, planning a post-work picnic with the kids, or if getting out the door on time just isn’t possible, holding a lunchtime yoga class, or a morning or afternoon tea.
CEO of beyondblue, Kate Carnell, said it’s important that both employees and employers recognise the direct link between working long hours and mental health.
“Everyone experiences peaks in their workload which require working longer hours occasionally, but if you’re ‘under the pump’ consistently it can lead to job stress, which is linked to depression and anxiety,” Carnell explained.
“Depression caused by job stress costs Australian businesses $12.3 billion every year through reduced productivity and staff turnover, so poor work-life balance takes its toll on both employees and businesses.”
To take part in Go Home on Time Day, you can register your workplace by uploading their logo at www.gohomeontimeday.org.au. This will then list your business as a supporter of the event and you’ll receive an information kit containing useful resources.
In the lead-up to Go Home on Time Day, The Australia Institute will release new research focusing on the experiences of the overworked and the underworked (those struggling to enter the workforce or those who want to work more hours). Findings among the overworked include:
- Unpaid overtime equates to $109.6 billion or 7.4 per cent of GDP.
- 5.1 million employees eat their lunch while working.
- One in four employees check work emails and answers work calls outside of work hours.
On the other side of the coin, The Australia Institute’s research into the underworked suggests that:
- There are 2.8 million employees who want to work more hours than they currently do.
- More than 250,000 Australians are out of the workforce due to caring responsibilities.
- One in four Australians said the main barrier to returning to work is too few jobs.
“When millions of Australians work too much and millions more can’t find enough work, it is time we did something differently,” Richard Denniss, Executive Director of The Australia Institute, said. “Go Home on Time Day is an opportunity to start an important national conversation about the type of workplace culture we want in Australia.”
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