Work Wellbeing Index: Healthcare workers, tradies and teachers say wellbeing is ignored

Healthcare workers, teachers and tradies top the list of workers who feel their wellbeing has been forgotten about, according to newly released data.

The recently released Skills Consulting Group 2021 Work Wellbeing Index shows those in non-office jobs are far more dissatisfied with their workplace.

The survey of nearly 1500 workers and 105 HR managers, showed that non-office workers – those employees who are not connected to a desk, such as production workers, retail staff, drivers, nurses, tradies and teachers – have an overall wellbeing score of just 59 per cent compared to 65 per cent for office workers.

Jane Kennelly from Skills Consulting Group said news of the levels of wellbeing in the education, healthcare and construction industries was not hugely surprising, but it was concerning.

“Given recent nursing strikes over pay and conditions and reports of nurses heading to Australia for better remuneration and lifestyle – it’s no wonder that those in the healthcare sector feel their wellbeing is not being addressed,” Kennelly said.

“Add to that, teachers being dissatisfied with remuneration in their sector and then the huge pressure on our building industry in the post-Covid environment.”

The wellbeing report comes as nurses reveal they are being told to seek help from one another because of the high demand for external counselling services.

It was recently reported that employee assistance programmes were overloaded, with long wait times for stressed healthcare workers to see counsellors.

The Work Wellbeing Index also found education, the trades and other non-office-based industries, other than manufacturing, rated low levels of overall wellbeing.

When broken down by industry, the index showed those working in Healthcare scored wellbeing at 56 per cent, followed by Construction/Trades at 57 per cent and Education, along with Retail and Agriculture workers, at 58 per cent.

Kennelly said part of the issue was that in some industries face-to-face counselling may not work and access to services was difficult.

“For workers who do shift work or people who are always mobile and working in different locations, such as tradies for example, the delivery channel needs to be much more flexible,” she said.

“Organisations need to ensure they customise their approach.”

Kennelly said more personalised tools and more check-ins with those who work outside or in a different way to the conventional office should be developed to make sure people feel looked after and part of a team.

“Those are just some of the ways that Kiwi businesses can really begin to make an impact.”

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