About the research

SuperFriend’s Indicators of a Thriving Workplace® survey was developed by local and global workplace mental health experts, drawing from organisational psychology best practice and validated by the University of Queensland. Each year, benchmark data is collected to measure and track the current state of workplace mental health across Australia.

More than 10,000 Australian workers from different industries, role types and locations are asked about their experience in their current workplace via an online research panel. Respondents rate the extent to which each of the 40 scientifically validated characteristics (‘indicators’) of mentally healthy workplaces are present in their current workplace, using a 5-point Likert scale. The indicators have remained consistent for four consecutive years, enabling SuperFriend to assess changes over time in a dataset of more than 35,000 Australian workers.

The survey also tracks workers’ broader perceptions, attitudes and experiences in relation to workplace mental health and wellbeing over time, while capturing information about new topics of interest at a national level.

To make sure the findings are representative of the Australian workforce, responses are weighted by location, industry, gender identity and age using recent workforce data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The 2021 research

The survey was completed in July 2021 by 10,009 working Australians. The impact of COVID-19 was explored in terms of mental health, productivity, change management and workplaces of the future. Psychosocial risk questions were also introduced to provide additional insights into workplace mental health and to understand how minimising these risks helps workplaces to thrive.

Profile summary


Survey respondents


Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Australians




Identify as male


Identify as female


Employment status

Work role

Workplace size


Profile notes:

~ This profile summary reflects respondent data weighted by location, industry, gender and age. The biggest difference compared to the unweighted profile relates to gender identity: weighting boosts responses from those who identify as male since they represent the largest share of the workforce but are typically underrepresented in research fieldwork. Weighted differences in all other areas of the respondent profile are minimal as the research framework is designed to capture representative cross-sections of Australia’s workforce. For more information about the unweighted respondent profile please email info@superfriend.com.au.

* People who identify as female are referred to as women throughout this report, and self-identified males as men. Due to low numbers of people who identified as non-binary, gender diverse or agender, or whose gender identity was not stated, it was not possible to include detailed results for these groups.

Technical report notes:

  • Index scores are calculated using all scale responses from ‘strongly disagree’ to ‘strongly agree’ and exclude respondents who are unsure.
  • All percentages relating to the indicators reflect the proportion of respondents who strongly agree. Some proportions may not add up to 100% due to rounding or multiple responses being allowed.
  • Unless otherwise specified, all insights are based on the 2021 data.
  • Mental health conditions are self-reported by survey respondents, and include those that have not been diagnosed by a medical professional.