Jul 21, 2023

Shift workers feel ‘amazing’ after work, emergency services workers ‘stressed’

The Index measured the feelings of 846,440 workers hourly. It found those who work long hours as well as those being granted too few shifts are equally unhappy. [Source: Shutterstock]

New data suggests more healthcare workers felt “amazing” after their shift in the first half of 2023 compared to the last quarter of 2022.

Despite the rising cost of living putting more pressure on hourly workers, data from Deputy’s first-ever Shift Worker Happiness Index shows Australian shift workers are feeling positive, with 83% stating they feel “good” or “amazing” after their shifts.

Key points:

  • In healthcare, 40% of shift workers reported feeling “good” after their shifts this year, compared to 38% in the last quarter of 2022 
  • 46% of services workers reported feeling “amazing” this year, compared to 53% and 37% reporting the same respectively in the last quarter of 2022
  •  12% of critical and emergency services workers indicated they are “stressed” or “frustrated” after their shifts, compared to 4% across Australia more broadly

The Index’s sample included those working in aged care and Deputy’s Chief Product Officer, Deepesh Banerji, believes this upturn in statistics for this demographic – one that has been chronically burnt out and overworked historically – can be attributed to the cohort seeing “the light at the end of the tunnel” with reforms happening in the sector and a 15% pay rises being awarded this month.   

“This [statistical change] can potentially be attributed to workers beginning to see the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ post-pandemic, after an incredibly challenging few years,” he explained.

But a portion of emergency service workers still aren’t feeling great after a shift. This can be attributed to being perpetually overworked – this demographic did 30% more hours than were initially rostered in the first quarter of 2022 and that number grew to 31% in the first half of 2023.

“Our critical and emergency services workers are among the unhappiest in the country and this can be attributed to long hours which have been exacerbated by continued labour shortages. Our data is indicative of wider issues of burnout in certain segments of the healthcare industry which, if left unresolved, will have trickle-down effects to the general public.” 

“When we look at the sector more granularly, there are clear signs that more must be done to support the overall well-being of healthcare workers within particular sectors.”

How do you feel after a shift? Let us know in the comments below.

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