Winter Waggers: Peak season to call in sick [in the media]

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Every work day 300,000 Aussie workers will take a ‘sickie,’ with 1 in 20 full-time employees in Australia off sick. While chucking a sickie has become a solid tradition for many, whether to extend a long weekend or simply because employees don’t feel up to a day at work, these absences are costing Australian businesses 100 million dollars per day.

Gone are the days when workers proudly boasted of never having taken a sick day in their working life, with ‘doona days’ now seen to be a right claimed by most Australians.

Social researcher Mark McCrindle explores worker absenteeism on Channel 7’s Morning Show and discusses whether work sick day policies are in need of an overhaul or if indeed staying home when feeling slightly unwell may actually be better for everyone. Although sick days lead to 28 billion dollars of lost productivity, coming to work sick may cause far more harm to colleagues and an exponential loss to team productivity.

Mark McCrindle states, “Worse than chucking a sickie when it’s not legitimate is turning up to work when a sick day would be warranted. Particularly in this era of the open plan office with hot-desking, people are moving and sharing a lot more and there’s more interaction than we used to have. You’ve also got the air conditioning which can spread illness amongst the whole team more quickly than in the past”.

Gen Ys are leading the ‘sickie’ charge. “You do find that with the younger generation, they are taking more sick leave then you would expect young people to have,” Mark explains. The perception of a stoic older generation rings true in regards to sick days. “If you look at the general population, older people have the highest sickness incidents and younger people are healthier, but in the workplace it’s the opposite actually. And younger people are taking more sick days than you would expect. Partly that’s because they’re “chucking a sickie.”

Watch the latest segment and let us know what you think – should Aussies just ‘suck it up’ and go to work or be on the cautious side of things and take that ‘sickie’?

Aussies Demonstrate the Power of Good

Friday, July 25, 2014

On the nightly news we often hear stories of random, opportunistic crime perpetrated against strangers, but rarely do we hear stories of generosity and altruism from strangers. 

In an age which seems to be marked by “acts of senseless violence”, fed to us by the media on a daily basis, an act of random kindness from a stranger or someone not well known to us is heart warming – and perhaps astonishing. There are, however, numerous examples of acts of kindness that are happening around us every day, but which never come to light.

A fair go, mateship, giving a hand are values that define our national character. When disaster strikes, Aussies are among the first to lend a helping hand.

Mark McCrindle discusses how Australians show the power of good on The Morning Show – that when adversity strikes, whether in the form of bushfires, floods, typhoons, tsunamis, other natural disasters or international conflict, Aussies are front footed in helping out and making a difference.

The Power of Good by Mark McCrindle

Mark McCrindle's book The Power of Good: True stories of great kindness from total strangers highlights just some of the many stories of the power of random acts of kindness, with stories shared from both prominent and ordinary Australians.

To buy the book, download a free chapter or find out more, click here.

The National Happiness Barometer [INFOGRAPHIC]

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Happiness in Australia Infographic | McCrindle ResearchTo mark the inaugural UN-declared International Day of Happiness on March 20, 2013 we’ve put together the National Happiness Barometer.

This research shows that as a nation, we don’t feel as happy as we did 5 years ago. For every person who feels that we are happier than we were in 2008, 11 people say we’re not as happy.

More than half of the population state that they are about average in happiness, 29% say they are happier than average, and 17% are less happy than average.

Income levels significantly influence the perceptions of happiness. Those in households in the lowest earning category ($15,000 below average) are far more likely to believe that as a nation we are not as happy as we were 5 years ago (65%) compared to those in the top earning quintile of which just 44% say we’re less happy than we were.

Happiness in Australia Infographic | International Day of Happiness | McCrindle Research

Similarly the lowest earning quintile are almost four times as likely to say that they are less happy than average (30%) compared to the top quintile of earners (8%).

And while 44% of the highest earners believe that they are above average in happiness, more than 1 in 5 (21%) of the lowest earners also believe that they are above average in happiness.

This research indicates that an awareness of where one’s income sits compared to average influences one’s perception of happiness. Simply put, people who know they earn more than average feel that they must be happier than average as well.

However this changes when we look at non-comparative measures of happiness. If people are asked to rate their happiness subjectively, rather than comparably (that is, a self-rating from “very happy” to “not at all happy”), and on a broader measure (so not “compared to average” but as defined by “life satisfaction, well-being and fulfilment”) then the results are quite different. The largest group turns out to be those who earn significantly less than average but are significantly happier than average (20%). Those who earn significantly more than average and are significantly happier than average come next, at just 16%. Those who earn significantly less than average and are similarly less happier than average (11%) are only slightly more than those who earn significantly more than average but are similarly less happy than average (8%).

Therefore linking happiness to income, or comparing one’s own happiness to the average person, lowers the happiness measures for most. And while it increases the perception of happiness for high earners, it does not enhance their intrinsic sense of happiness.

So the take away: true happiness is not related to earnings, not based on how others compare, and while it can be influenced by, it is not determined by our external environment.

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