Australian men who struggle at work are more depressed and anxious than their higher performing peers, and rate a lower work-life balance, according to new data from Workscore.

With International Men’s Day in November, Workscore has analysed data from their unique, rolling online survey to understand the impact of work on the wellbeing of men. More than 3,000 male participants generated over 180,000 data points to provide interesting insights into how men perform at work.

Men fell into three clear groupings: high performing (31%), low performing (31%) and ‘middle of the road’ (38%).

WorkScore measures performance across key criteria of work, body, fuel, fitness and mindset. And high performing men do well across the board.

Suzanne Deeming, co-founder of WorkScore, said:

“Our data confirmed earlier findings that scoring well in one domain correlates with good scores in others. Like anything, prioritising wellbeing is a habit that translates into all areas of life”.

Compared to the lower performing group, high performers get more sleep of higher quality, are active more days per week, do more strength and resistance exercise and eat more serves of fruit and vegetables.

They also take more full lunch breaks as well as regular short breaks through the day, including going outside during work hours.

“Significantly, high performers state that work strongly aligns to their values, they feel a greater sense of belonging and teamwork and feel that their workplace cares about their wellbeing”, noted Suzanne Deeming.

With renewed focus on men’s mental health, of most concern were the findings that the lowest performing men are 40% more depressed and 33% more anxious than their higher performing peers. And they rate a much lower work/life balance.

The opposite is true of the high performers who are more positive, make their wellbeing a priority and feel more capable of dealing with life’s problems. They also receive more recognition and feel a greater sense of achievement at work along with having a strong feeling of positive work/life balance.

The good news is that employers can take steps to create an environment where men will thrive:

  • Encourage employees to take regular, short breaks during the day, and full lunch breaks
  • Include strength training in company-sponsored fitness initiatives
  • Reduce phone calls and emails outside hours to help employees switch off
  • Provide regular recognition
  • Facilitate regular team-based activities
  • Demonstrate that they care about employee wellbeing

“There are a range of initiatives that employers can implement immediately to help improve the mental health and wellbeing of men in the workplace,” suggested Suzanne Deeming. “From simple things such as encouraging teamwork and providing recognition, to something more robust such as investing in a corporate wellbeing program.”