The ability to work in our beautiful country inspires envy from a lot of our international friends, but unfortunately this alone isn’t providing much happiness to an increasing number of Australian workers.

A survey last year from the Australian Psychological Society* noted that almost 1 in 2 people report workplace issues as a source of personals stress.

Last year, Australians reported significantly lower levels of wellbeing compared with findings in 2012 and 2011.

Some other findings* from the survey:

  • Only half the workforce feel appreciated
  • 40% of Australians reported having insufficient 
    opportunities for  learning and development
  • Working Australians reported significantly lower overall 
    workplace wellbeing compared with workers in Europe.
Today is the International Day of Happiness – and with this in mind, what can we do to improve a sense of well-being in the workplace?



Economists believe that in return for making workers feel like their employers truly care and value them, we could deliver $305 billion* more in productivity across Australia.

  • The cost of absenteeism in Australia is estimated at $7 billion each year, while the cost of a present workforce (but not fully functioning at work because of medical conditions) was nearly four times more, was estimated at almost $26 billion (2005–06)*

Let’s take a few moments to look at some positive methods for a happier workplace:

Focus on strengths

Focussing on strengths rather than weakness has been found to improve employee engagement 6-fold. This means lower turnover, improved productivity and happier clients!

Understand the link bewteen mood + performance

It takes only minutes for a leaders mood to infect the rest of their team. The same goes for your employees moods. According to one theory, 20-30%* of business performance is related to the mood of employees, so it’s worth looking into the balance of positive and negative emotions in your office space.

Build a trusting environment

Trust doesn’t just come with authority or only with words. It comes from well-intentioned and self-aligned actions.  Champion the right things to do, promote ideas, talent and the contributions of others. Provide opportunities for your employees to shine and embrace the individual – contribute to the greater good. By leading with positive example you can create a culture of trust in your workplace.

Invest in relationships

When we genuinely connect with another person, we release oxytocin (the feel-good hormone) into our bodies. Oxytocin reduces anxiety and improves concentration and focus. Take a minute to share a positive emotion, be it genuine kindness, gratitude, support or amusement.


Set realistic but challenging goals for your team, give them strategies to move forward and plan for any obstacles you both may face on this journey. Inspire your team to greatness in their own work goals and this in turn will bring out the best employees for your company goals and your clients.

These ZERO cost actions could general up to $26,300* per Australian employee in productivity – definitely something to think about.


Stress and wellbeing in Australia survey 2013
An EI-Based Theory of Performance
Workplace Wellness in Australia
Productivity gains stall - Australia has $305b in unrealised productivity