We know our nation prides itself on our ‘mateship’ culture, however our recent research shows that over three-quarters of modern Aussie men are struggling to find time for their mates.

We were delighted to survey over 500 Australian males (aged 20 to 40 years) to find out how they spend their down time, for this study commissioned by Bundaberg Rum. Our research revealed that whilst nearly all men (97%) agree making time for their mates is essential, the majority (85%) of Aussie males are struggling to find enough time for much needed ‘man time’ with their friends.

Social demographer Mark McCrindle said: “Career driven, family focused and health conscious Aussie men are crowding their lives with commitments. As a result of these pressures and competing priorities, the time available for men to kick back and relax with their mates has begun to erode”

“Trends over the last three to five years highlight that men are losing the battle for the simple pleasures that bring Aussie men together. The study found that one in three (35%) are spending less quality time with their mates than three to five years ago, and revealed Aussie mates are sharing 30% less barbecues and watching 29% less sport.” – Mark McCrindle.

Men aren’t prioritising friendships

According to the report, men aren’t prioritising friendships as much as they should. Mates are pipped by family (77%), work (67%) and health and fitness (64%), with friendship (52%) coming in fourth place on their list of priorities.

Mark McCrindle said that for men, getting the balance right and making time for down time with mates is essential for their ‘social well-being’.

Lazy time with mates might just be the best thing for Aussie men’s social well-being

“It’s a truth and permission that hard-working Aussie men might be delighted to hear, but watching sport and enjoying some lazy time with their mates might just be the best thing for their social well-being”

“Importantly, the research shows that men who have regular casual get-togethers with their friends are happier than those who don’t (83% compared to 70%), more productive (79% compared to 73%), and had lower stress levels (66% compared to 73%).” – Mark McCrindle

20 to 25 year-old men are chucking sickies to watch Netflix

In addition, almost one in five men (17%) have pulled a sickie and stayed at home instead of hanging out with their friends. 20 to 25 year-old males are the worst offenders with three in ten males (30%) admitting to it in the last six months.

One in five (19%) admitted to turning down a night with close friends to stay at home and watch Netflix or TV, and one in ten (11%) have turned down a night with their mates to spend time at home on social media instead.

Mark McCrindle said modern Aussie men needed to share more down time together to avoid the risk of becoming disconnected from their friends.

“It’s important that everyone makes time for their friends, but in this era of increased busyness – it means our social lives are becoming increasingly disconnected. Lazy time and casual get-togethers spent with mates are now more important than ever,”- Mark McCrindle.

View the full infographic here.