“It’s not fine”: 88% of teams are ‘unhealthy’, Atlassian research finds

Atlassian work futurist, Dom Price. Source: Supplied

With The Great Resignation looming over businesses, it’s more important than ever to keep your team members happy. But some 88% are operating in an ‘unhealthy’ environment.

That’s according to new research from Aussie tech giant Atlassian, based on its own team metrics, plus responses from more than 1500 people who work in teams outside of Atlassian in Australia and the US.

The report, The State of Teams, focuses on four key indicators of team health: engagement, performance, sustainability and team climate — that is, whether people within the team feel supported, aligned in their values and psychologically safe.

These are baseline indicators to track over time, the report explains.

As it stands however, only 12% of teams in the survey reported a ‘healthy’ response across all four metrics.

Results were particularly troubling in the team performance and metrics indicators. Some 22% of respondents said they don’t feel psychologically safe in their team, compared to 30% who said they do.

While 34% said they feel their team is efficient and meeting requirements, 9% disagreed. This metric had the highest proportion of people who were unsure or in between.

Elsewhere, 23% of respondents said they have low energy levels and don’t feel enthusiastic or derive purpose from their work, compared to 44% who said they do; and 11% said their teams are unsustainable, struggling with burnout.

Only 39% said their levels of burnout are sustainable and that team members intend to stay on board.


The results of Atlassian’s The State of Teams research. Source: Atlassian.

This data comes as workplaces grapple with the so-called Great Resignation. Research from PwC recently found that almost 40% of Australians are looking to leave their jobs, largely seeking more flexibility rather than more money.

Employers are also facing a burnout crisis, particularly among women.

Speaking to SmartCompany, Atlassian work futurist Dom Price says having a healthy team can help retain your best performers. But it’s equally important when you’re bringing new employees on board.

A healthy team is a happy team, which will make them a more effective and more productive team, he notes.

“Whether people are coming or going, the health of that team and how they work together is a force multiplier,” Price says.

While many companies focus wholly on growth to improve productivity, often it comes down to working smarter, not harder. This data shows that’s not necessarily happening within a lot of businesses today.

As businesses have grappled with so much change over the past two years, that’s perhaps been on the back-burner.

For Price it’s not about staff turnover, hybrid working or the ‘post-pandemic normal’. It’s about finding what makes your team score well in each of the four health indicators.

“We’ve taken our eye off that and we’ve always thought it was just fine,” he says.

“It’s not fine. It’s not awful yet, but it’s not fine.

“A few small tweaks in the right area and suddenly we can turn it from mediocre to awesome”

Check out SmartCompany Plus for Price’s tips on what exactly makes a healthy and productive team, and how to nurse yours back to peak condition.


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Steven John Taylor
Steven John Taylor
7 months ago

Great article. Well thought out and balanced.

7 months ago

I am pretty sure that any team forced to use the Atlassian crap-ware would self report as demoralised.

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