Stress is a rather silent affliction. We touched recently on how it is costing Australian businesses more than $10 billion each and every year in productivity issues; however, the effects go much deeper than just in the workplace.
Stress can cause significant mental and physical health issues, while health concerns are subsequently the biggest cause of stress, according to new research from the Australian Psychological Society (APS). While it's a perpetual circle, it's one employers can step in and break with a corporate health plan.
The biggest causes of stress
The APS survey shows that health concerns make up three of the top five causes of stress in the country today. Included in the major stress-triggers are:
- People's personal health, identified by 44 per cent of respondents
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle (40 per cent)
- The health of those close to us (38 per cent)
Meanwhile, personal finances were named as the single most contributing cause for stress, with 49 per cent of surveyed Australians nominating it as a concern in their lives. All this is something that can in some way be limited by a business's health benefits – but are employers doing enough?
Australia's most stressed professions
An October study by Roy Morgan Research found that stress is the most common mental health issue in Australia. According to the study, the three most stressful professions were:
- Sales support workers
- Hospitality workers
- Legal, social and welfare professionals
However, with 4.64 million people thought to be at risk, it will be a significant challenge to all employers around the country, regardless of their industry.
A corporate health plan provides full or partial costs for health cover.
How a corporate health plan can help
Around half of all Australians have private health insurance, leaving around 12 million people without access to its benefits. Whether it's because of the rising cost of health insurance or a lack of understanding that is restricting their access, it is possible for an employer to step in and help.
A corporate health plan provides full or partial costs for health cover, which will go some way to helping people with their stress-inducing personal finances. Then, with a greater access to care, employees may be less preoccupied with their own or their family's abilities to receive treatment should they fall ill or get injured.
To discuss how you can provide health benefits – for the good of your employees and your wider workplace – the team at HICA can help. As independent advisors, we can make the process as stress-free as possible.