Go home on time day…so did you?

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Stressed? Overworked? Go home on time day was celebrated this week, but 2.2m of us never know whether we'll be able to leave on time.

Research compiled for Wednesday's event revealed that millions of Australians will develop mental health issues as a result of poor work/life balance.

The Australia Institute is the organisation behind the annual awareness raising day, and it says excessive work hours and workplace culture are causing an epidemic of workplace-related stress and anxiety affecting around three million employees.

So what's going on?

According to BeyondBlue, a national depression and anxiety initiative, the social and economic costs of job-related stress can lead to depression and anxiety, and ultimately have tragic consequences.

Executive director Dr Richard Denniss said the best workplaces have a good relationship between employers and employees, and that it goes both ways.

“Good mental health is as important as physical safety in the workplace, and that good mental health in the workplace relies on good leadership, communication, support and balance,” he said.

Yet one in two Australian workers feel uncomfortable discussing issues about mental health with their manager, and some 43% of employees surveyed reported their managers were poorly skilled in discussing sensitive workplace issues.

Key findings in the survey included:

  • 6.8m Australians are interrupted by work phone calls or emails during their personal time.
  • 2.2m don't know what time they will be leaving work on a daily basis.
  • 4.8m find it hard to take their annual leave at a time that suits them.
  • Employees of small businesses are far more likely to report feeling comfortable raising workplace issues with their manager than employees of medium sized and large businesses.
  • Only 14% of employees report that their workplace discourages unpaid overtime.

Do these issues sound familiar? Share your story below.

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