- There are increasing concerns regarding the effects of excessive working hours on the health and safety of regional Australian workers
- A Charles Sturt University research project seeks regional employees who work five (or more) days a week, to complete a five-minute online survey
- The views of human resource managers, employers and industry professionals also needed regarding the sustainability of current working hours, and the feasibility of a four-day work week
With interest in a four-day working week increasing, a Charles Sturt University research student seeks participants for a study that explores how regional organisations are addressing employee wellbeing in relation to overwork and burnout.
The research project titled ‘The enablers and barriers of the four-day work week’ questions the standard Monday-to-Friday work design.
Researcher Ms Simone Hyde (pictured) is an Honours student in the Charles Sturt School of Management and Marketing in Albury-Wodonga. She received the 2020 Institute of Land, Water and Society’s Honours Support Scholarship for her project’s focus on regional society.
“There are increasing concerns regarding the effects of excessive working hours on the health and safety of regional Australian workers, with evidence suggesting that overwork and bottom-line success are not linked,” Ms Hyde said.
“After being diagnosed with anxiety and depression as a result of previous employment, I’m passionate about mental health and employee wellbeing. I could feel myself burning out, but there was no help.
“According to Fair Work Australia, you can only request a reduction in working hours if you are a parent, carer, have a disability, are over 55 years of age or experiencing domestic violence, and I didn’t fit into any of those categories.
“There is also a big stigma that if you aren’t working five days a week, there is something wrong with you. Introducing a four-day work week could help to break down these societal pressures.”
Ms Hyde’s research hopes to:
- Promote the normalisation of employees electing to work reduced hours for the purpose of preventing burnout; and
- Provide regional organisations with realistic considerations and human resource methods, if they wish to implement a four-day work week.
To participate, until the end of February the project is recruiting regional employees who work five (or more) days a week, to complete a five-minute online survey which can be completed via www.surveymonkey.com/r/fourdayworkweek.
In the second phase of the project, Ms Hyde will conduct 30-minute Zoom interviews with regional human resource managers, employers and industry professionals regarding the sustainability of current working hours, and the feasibility of a four-day work week.
Potential interview participants should email Ms Hyde at email@example.com for more information.
Prior to completing her bachelor’s degree in 2019, Ms Hyde was a member of the Australian Defence Force, and her transition from military to civilian life inspired her to help others with their career paths.
“Job decisions are life-changing, and it can be difficult to find career support outside of family and friends,” Ms Hyde said.
Her business, Simone Maree Consulting, provides affordable Australia-wide career planning, resumé and interview coaching services.
With her passion for helping others, Ms Hyde was granted government funding to host a careers workshop for local youth preparing to enter the workforce, and coordinated a Mental Health First Aid course within her rural community during 2019. She is also a current board member of the community-based not-for-profit charity Sisters Housing Enterprises in Wagga Wagga.