Are You Noticing?

Are you noticing?

Kelly Monahan is a behavioural scientist who has researched the future of work through the lens of what motivates people to be their most productive and innovative.

Kelly states that there are a number of things that humans require and one of them is the stability of:

  1. Income
  2. Working hours
  3. Working relationships


What is significant is Australia is marching in the opposite direction towards instability.

  1. Income 
  • 38% of people in work are below the poverty line.
  • 11.4% underemployment which means people need more work to meet their financial needs.
  • According to a Victorian 2018 inquiry into the on-demand economy; many gig workers are effectively paid less than the minimum wage.
  • Most Australians can’t cover $1,000 in case of emergency.

In America, working adults said they either would not be able to cover an unexpected $400 expense through savings or their credit card or would have to cover it by selling something or borrowing money.” (Chapter 1 Edge of Chaos). 

  1. Working hours
  • One in four Australian workers is casual. Half of those have no guaranteed hours.
  • Two million of our over 12 million working Australians are casuals or independent contractors. (ABS)
  • Part-time work is rising
  • Normalisation of insecure work. When people enter or re-enter the workforce, they are more likely to get insecure work.
  • Non -permanent staff now account for 42% of workforce spending. (Hays recruitment)


  1. Working relationships.

The impact when working remotely on working relationships has not been studied fully, however, the top two predictors of health are our social connections and support.

  • Middle management positions are being lost. Yet research says this is the most important role to maintain is this position. This is because people are 2 X more resilient and 3 X more likely to be engaged when supported by their direct manager.
  • Employee analytics are being used to measure and give feedback.
  • Covid-19 has encouraged the need for contactless interaction.
  • Gig workers are hired and fired via an app.

What is the impact?

Chris Bowen a federal politician in a recent speech said that research states the result of insecure work is:

  • Workers in insecure jobs face increased stress, anxiety and other mental health challenges, and studies indicate the fear of losing a job is “just as harmful as the actual experience of unemployment”.
  • “Taken together, 21 studies show a 34% increased risk of heart disease for insecure workers, and these health impacts are most prominent where job insecurity is thrust on people by circumstances beyond their control”.
  • We are in danger of creating ever-increasing inequality.

What can we do about it?


Believe you have choice.

Keep informed, have a voice and influence where you can.



I presented some of this information at a business luncheon held at the Brisbane Club in November 2020.




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