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New Zealand: Working Too Hard And Stressed

News release
Thursday 20th December 2012

New Zealand: Working Too Hard And Stressed

If you feel you work too hard – you’re not alone. As New Zealanders knock off for a couple of weeks of well-deserved holiday, a new survey has found the down time will be more welcome than ever.

A health and wellbeing survey of over 2000 New Zealanders by Southern Cross Health Society has found that half of those surveyed said they felt they worked too much, while one in five said they spent significantly more time working than they would like. 41% said they had the balance just right.

People in the household income bracket of $70,000 to $100,000 per annum were most likely to feel their work-life balance was skewed too far in work’s favour.

The good news is that more New Zealanders are feeling they have the balance right than five years ago. 40% of females and 33% of males said their work-life balance had improved over this time.

Southern Cross Health Society Chief Executive Peter Tynan said for those lacking balance, the holiday period could provide some welcome breathing space to examine the contributing factors.

“Often life is so busy, we just have to keep going. A break can be a great time to get some perspective, make plans and strategise for how to get that balance right. It could be something like planning a conversation with your boss in regards to flexible hours, or researching options that will allow you to conveniently fit exercise into your life.”

The survey also showed that 30% of Kiwis reported being stressed.
• Women, the under 40s and people with children were more likely to be stressed.
• 34% of all respondents were more stressed than the previous year, while 19% were less stressed.
• New Zealanders under 30 and people with children were feeling more pressure than in 2011 – with 40% of both these groups saying they felt more stressed than last year.
• People from Christchurch reported a higher incidence of stress than those from other regions.
Tynan said New Zealand employers were increasingly recognising the importance of supporting their employees’ overall wellbeing.
“Health or personal issues can’t just be left at the door when we walk into work, and ultimately this impacts our productivity. So there is a business benefit to workplace-based health initiatives. But primarily the employers we work with put them in place because they genuinely want to help their employees.”

Southern Cross is New Zealand’s largest employer group health insurer and also offers other health-related initiatives, such as corporate wellness programmes and Health Management Accounts.

More Stressed in 2012
Under 30s
People with children

Less Stressed in 2012
Over 50s
Households earning over $100,000


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