The New Zealand Psychosocial Survey aims to improve understanding of the psychosocial working environment in New Zealand.

About the report

The New Zealand Psychosocial Survey assesses a wide range of psychosocial factors in the workplace to improve WorkSafe staff and external stakeholders’ understanding of psychosocial health in the New Zealand working environment. The survey uses the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ) that has been internationally recognised as a valid and reliable measure of psychosocial factors at work. 
The survey describes the most common psychosocial risks in New Zealand by industries, occupations, and socio-demographic characteristics. As well as from psychosocial factors, the survey also provides the most updated self-reported figures on workers’ exposure to bullying, cyberbullying, sexual harassment, threats of violence, and physical violence. It discusses how outcomes differ between workers in the context of psychosocial factors at work and identifies the most common protective factors supporting New Zealand workers’ health and wellbeing. 
The survey outcomes will be used to help inform a road map to address psychosocial harms at work, promote good practices, and widen viewpoint to wellbeing and investment approaches focusing on business and workers at greater risk.

Key findings

The research from 2021 surveyed 3,612 workers and found:

  • 35% of workers report being exposed to at least one offensive behaviour in the last 12 months. Bullying is the most common hostile act reported by workers (23%), followed by cyberbullying (16%), threats of violence (14%), sexual harassment (11%) and physical violence (11%)
  • the speed and intensity of work, the need to conceal feelings from other people at work, and workload are the most common sources of psychosocial risk for workers
  • Māori and Pacific workers report higher levels of insecurity over their working conditions and threats to professional identity. Additionally, Māori workers are more likely to report exposure to bullying (28%), cyberbullying (21%), sexual harassment (15%), threats of violence (20%) and physical violence (17%)
  • industry plays a role in shaping workplace psychosocial environments.
  • the most common protective factors supporting the mental wellbeing of New Zealand workers are security over working conditions, sense of community at work, role clarity, and meaning of work.

Read the report

New Zealand Psychosocial Survey 2021 (PDF 1.3 MB)