You web browser may not be properly supported. To use this site and all its features we recommend using the latest versions of Chrome, Safari or Firefox


In a digital world; portable laptops, tablets and smartphones mean an employee can work from almost anywhere at anytime. More employers are expecting their employees to remain constantly connected to work outside of normal hours – putting the mental health of staff at risk.

Employees can feel guilty for switching off their devices linked to work emails, worried that an issue may come up that needs their immediate attention. This has had the effect of shattering the traditional working hours that helped separate home and family life. Even if the employee is not sitting at a computer, a notification on a smartphone alerting them to a new work email takes them back into 'office mode' – making it harder to relax and spend quality time with friends and family.

When workers lose control over their workload they become at risk of suffering a stress-related concern. This may lead them to lodge a compensation claim alleging that they have become stressed from an excessive, unfair workload or from unreasonable expectations or pressures from their employer.

Employers who create systems where employees can access work databases and emails from any location are reaping the benefits of free labour, and the respectful employees who check their work emails at home are providing it.

So, while the rising use of laptops, tablets and smartphones has created freedom, they become a problem when employees feel pressured to send work emails after hours or when they feel they need to prove their dedication.

Both managers and employees can watch out for signs of stress in their colleagues, which could include increased absenteeism, changes in mood, irritability, reduced productivity, becoming withdrawn or conflicting with others.

Employers can prevent stress-type concerns from an excessive workload by promoting work-life balance as a healthy lifestyle, making sure that staff aren’t pressured into working overtime and ensuring the job fits well with other life demands.

Flexible working arrangements like flexitime, part-time work and job sharing can go a long way towards creating a culture of flexibility, while confidential counselling services can offer staff support when they need it most.

beyondblue's Heads Up resource offers advice to both employers and employees on achieving the best possible mental health in the workplace.

Thank you for your feedback.

Related blog posts

Workplace Law
Pay your staff properly

Pay your staff properly: it’s not rocket science. That’s my message to the chefs and restaurateurs who last week begged for an amnesty for wage theft. They make some interesting claims: “there’s too many awards”; “most people are trying to do the right thing”; “I had to work for free when I first started”; “why is everyone picking on the hospitality industry?” or “customers need to pay more”. The underlying themes are that the restaurateurs don’t understand the rules and that they were exploited themselves as juniors, therefore it’s fair enough. Oh, and let’s not forget the big one: it’s too expensive and I don’t want to. None of these excuses are good...

Cooks in kitchen blurred motion RESIZED
Workplace Law
Small business employees would lose out under Fair Dismissal Code changes

The Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman’s proposal to change the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code is not likely to result in fairer outcomes for employees or fewer claims for small business owners to deal with. The changes may make it easier for small businesses to get rid of employees quickly, meaning the system would be heavily weighted against workers. That’s why we are calling on Attorney General and Minister for Industrial Relations Christian Porter to consider the employees first, who already have little protection or job security when employed with a small business, when reviewing the industrial relations process. The Ombudsman's review recommends separate processes...

Barista Cleaning Machine
Workplace Law
The five simple steps to making a workers’ compensation claim

Every year, thousands of Australians are injured at work - in fact, in 2013-14 alone, there were 531,800 workers who reported suffering a work-related illness or injury. During this difficult and stressful time, injured workers can receive a lot of information from employers, doctors and insurers when they report their injury. For many of us, this information can be overwhelming. It can cause additional anxiety and distress, with some feeling daunted by the thought of making a claim. In this article, we’ve pulled together a simple, step-by-step process to help you understand your entitlements, how to make a workers’ compensation claim, and where to turn if things don’t go to plan. ...

Construction Worker With Hat Cropped

We're here to help

Start your online claim check now. Or, if you have a question, get in touch with our team.