A major study on workplace dynamics has revealed that more than one in three Australians actively fear losing their job, with job security and changing structures front of mind for many.
Deloitte Access Economics and comparethemarket.com.au tested the beliefs of 3,000 Australian workers about a range of factors related to financial wellbeing.
Presenting their findings in the Financial Consciousness Index, the pair revealed that 38 per cent of employees feel they have very little job security or worry about the degree of job security they have.
In fact, just one in four (28 per cent) said they feel very secure in their job. Meanwhile, 34 per cent expressed feelings of a reasonable degree of security in their current employment.
This sentiment is strongest among those on lower incomes below $70,000 (47 per cent) and younger generations (42 per cent).
Changing workplace structures was identified as the primary cause of concern about job stability (39 per cent). Concerns about redundancy were prevalent for 30 per cent, while other factors included worries over the broader national economy (24 per cent), technological change (18 per cent) and international economic conditions (14 per cent).
Meanwhile, 36 per cent said they were currently working in a casual or part-time role while trying to find a permanent position.
“External factors — including demographic change, globalisation, digital technology, and changing social values and worker expectations — are disrupting business models and radically changing the workplace. These are requiring both workers and businesses to adapt and change the way they work, and for governments to rethink approaches to socioeconomic policies,” the report said.
“The gig economy, robotics and cognitive technologies are impacting education, skills and career development. Understanding these impacts are crucial to ensuring countries can manage the risks and opportunities for inclusive economic growth and avoid fuelling greater inequality within economies.
“Government, business and society need to work together to support a dynamic workforce that is able to constantly reskill and upskill. This means developing a skills infrastructure that broadens the base of skills and abilities. It means revisiting education and career models, and approaches to life-long learning and work, regardless of geography, and innovating public-private partnerships.”
It concluded: “As the gig economy strengthens, this means consideration of both the economic/business and societal elements. Inequality will remain a stubborn phenomenon even as technology advances society and helps grow economies. This suggests other long-term policy outcome considerations such as income guarantees, wealth distribution and re-enabling social engagement (beyond traditional employment).”
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.