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Holistic wellbeing key to the future of work

Media release - 19 Jan 2023

In 2023, businesses of all sizes are proactively transforming their workforce and workplace to maximise long-term business opportunities and respond to emerging trends.

The recently released Future of Work Report highlights key drivers in work trends and how they’ll impact businesses, now and in the future. It found mental health and wellbeing support as one of the top work-life concerns.

The Future of Work Report was developed by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) and details insights into future trends among workforces. CCIQ surveyed more than 550 businesses across Queensland and engaged the wider business community through virtual workshops and forums.

Australian Retirement Trust

Australian Retirement Trust supported the report and provided critical insight into trends expected to influence Queensland businesses long-term. Australian Retirement Trust is the superannuation fund created through the merger of QSuper and Sunsuper to become one of Australia’s largest super funds, taking care of over $200 billion in retirement savings for more than two million members.

“At Australian Retirement Trust, we partner with more than 180,000 businesses of all sizes across Australia to support the financial wellbeing needs of their employees. Understanding the key drivers that will shape the evolving needs of their workforce, workplace and work-life was one way we hoped to support the businesses that support our members.

“We’ve leveraged the Future of Work Report insights in responding to the changing dynamics of work-life to redesign the cultural and environmental aspects of work for the 3,300 people we employ around Australia as we’ve brought together Sunsuper and QSuper team members to create the future.”

- Adam Fitzhenry, Head of People Integration & Innovation at ART

Critical impacts from mental health

The survey revealed that business owners believe mental health and wellbeing is the most important factor for work-life and will be an ongoing issue in the future.

More than 70% of those surveyed say mental health and wellbeing in the workplace will have moderate to critical impacts on their business, while 37% of businesses expect major to critical effects1.

Holistically healthy employees are key to business performance

A recent survey of Australian employers and employees by MetLife, an insurance provider with Australian Retirement Trust, reported similar results to the Future of Work Report. The 2022 Employee Benefits Trends Study (EBTS) found holistically healthy employees are more likely to be productive, feel engaged and resilient, be satisfied with their current job and remain in it for 12 months.2

The study defined holistic health as a balance of physical, financial, mental and social health, and found only 38% of Australians claim to be holistically healthy.

Wellbeing support in the workplace

According to the Black Dog Institute, a comprehensive approach to mental, physical, and financial wellbeing to improve workplace wellbeing can make good business sense.

The benefits can include:

  1. A more productive workplace with reduced absenteeism and presenteeism,
  2. The attraction and retention of employees, and
  3. Cost savings through increased productivity and reduced worker’s compensation claims.

A recent study by PwC Australia, What Workers Want2, revealed that it’s become more common for employees to consider work as a source of social support with:

  • More than one-third of Australian workers (37%) considering their employer as their main source of mental health support, and
  • Nearly a quarter of workers (22%) valuing employer support for their wellbeing above all other factors.

“At Australia Retirement Trust, we recognise that what wellbeing support in the workplace looks like for one is different for another, and that’s why we’re committed to listening to our teams’ voice on the things important to them.

“Understanding what creates an inclusive environment for people to thrive is key. At ART, we measure inclusion across our teams. It provides a much deeper understanding of belonging and whether we’re providing the environment that our people can thrive in.

“Trust is critical to creating an environment that values holistic wellbeing, psychological safety and giving employees opportunities to share their voice and shape what we need for the future. We’re currently piloting leadership programs designed to develop self-leadership and enable open dialogue between leaders and teams. We’ve also delivered a wellbeing coach app to support team members with digital resources that assist with resilience. This all came from feedback from our people about what was important to their success.”

- Adam Fitzhenry, Head of People Integration & Innovation at ART

Mental health support

For support in improving mental health in the workplace, our partners at SuperFriend offer some handy resources including:

  • Wellbeing check-in and action plan – a 15-minute check in and action plan that provides insight into an individual’s mental health and wellbeing.
  • Looking after you booklet – guidance on some easy ideas of how to add more care and wellbeing into everyday routines.
  • Five ways to wellbeing tip sheet – practical guidance based on extensive research and evidence about improving an individual’s wellbeing.
  • Indicators of a Thriving Workplace report – Australia’s largest workplace mental health research survey measuring the state of workplace mental health. It contains insights from over 10,000 workers about their mental health and includes practical solutions to help improve workplace mental health.
  • Mental health support services flyer – a useful reference poster of various mental health support services currently available in Australia.

Financial wellness and work

Implementing financial wellbeing programs can be a great way to show you put your employees first, while also improving productivity and workplace morale.

Workplace financial wellbeing strategies include:

  • Sharing financial wellness information via email and in common areas. MoneySmart’s free financial education resources can be a great place to start.
  • Organising sessions that cover basic financial wellness like budgeting, tax returns and superannuation.
  • Offering employees workplace benefits that reduce financial pressure, like free breakfasts and coffee and tea in the kitchen.
  • Providing an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that gives employees access to professional wellbeing support.

“At Australian Retirement Trust when we think about wellbeing it’s holistic! We want our people to feel they can bring their whole self to work and know that we have a support system around them that enables each individual to thrive. One important step we’ve taken to create the right supporting environment is implementing our mental health first aiders training program to bring focus to mental health and encourage psychological safety and inclusiveness.”

- Adam Fitzhenry, Head of People Integration & Innovation at ART

How we can help

We can help your employees feel in control and confident about their financial future. Our comprehensive member education program covers a range of super topics for employees at any stage of their careers, from those just starting out to older workers nearing retirement. We also offer a range of helpful online tools and resources like videos, podcasts, calculators and articles.

1 Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland, The Future of Work Report, accessed 26 October 2022 at

2 MetLife, Australian 2022 Employee Benefits Trends Study (EBTS), The Rise of the Whole Employee, October 2022

3 Price Waterhouse Coopers, What workers want, accessed 26 October 2022 at