Happiest shift workers work in hospitality, according to Deputy’s Shift Worker Happiness Index

Despite the pressures of the rising cost of living, Deputy’s Shift Workers Happiness Index indicates that shift workers are feeling generally positive about their work.

Shift organisation platform Deputy uses the Shift Pulse feature to measure the feelings of shift workers in the hospitality, healthcare, retail, and services industries, allowing employees to rate how they felt about their shift on a sliding scale from “stressed” to “amazing”.

Fifty-six per cent of hospitality workers reported feeling “amazing” after a shift, which was up from 53 per cent in the last quarter of 2023. Additionally, 30 per cent of hospitality workers felt “good” after a shift, resulting in 86 per cent of hospitality workers feeling positive after a shift. Though lower than the hospitality average, workers in bars are still in high spirits, with 75 per cent indicating that they felt either “good” or “amazing” after a shift.

This is also significantly higher than other industries, with 49 per cent of retailer workers, 46 per cent of services workers, and 43 per cent of healthcare workers feeling “amazing” at the end of a shift.

In a state-by-state breakdown, Tasmania was revealed as the happiest state, with 88 per cent of workers feeling positive after a shift, closely followed by the Northern Territory, with 84 per cent of workers indicating the same. ACT had the lowest rating, with 15 per cent of workers just feeling “okay”, and 11 per cent feeling “stressed” or “frustrated”.

Deepesh Banerji, chief product officer at Deputy, shared the reasons behind these positive results.

“As the cost of living increases, there is a clear appetite among Australian shift workers to put in extra hours at work. Generally, our data shows workers who are being granted more and longer shift work hours are happier. Of course, it is still important for business leaders to strike a balance between capacity and hours rostered, to avoid high levels of stress and burnout, as can be seen among critical and emergency service workers,” Banerji explained.

“One way to do this is to schedule shifts in advance. By giving two weeks’ notice of upcoming shifts, workers have enough time to inform their managers should they be unable to commit to a shift and businesses will be able to plan ahead accordingly. This also gives employees the chance to plan their schedules around their personal lives. Amid the ongoing labour shortages across many industries, it’s the little things that make the biggest impact on reducing employee turnover,” Banerji concluded.

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