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Australian Work And Life Index

Australian Work and Life Index (AWALI)

The Australian Work and Life Index (AWALI) is a national survey of work–life outcomes amongst working Australians undertaken by the Centre for Work + Life . AWALI commenced in 2007 and has been repeated annually until 2010 in partnership with SafeWork SA and the Western Australian Department of Health.

AWALI will be conducted on a bi-annual basis in 2012 and 2014 as part of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage grant A study of flexibilities that enable workforce participation and skill development and use, and their implications for work-life outcomes in Australia. Grant partners are SafeWork SA and Department of Employment .

Project Manager: Dr Natalie Skinner: ; ph 08 8302 4250

AWALI 2014 is coming soon

The 2014 AWALI report will be released shortly. This year's survey focuses on a number of key themes:

  • How employee requests for flexibility have changed since the Fair Work Act 2009 created new rights to request flexibility for some workers;
  • Who works on Saturdays, Sundays and weekends, and how unsocial working times (weekends, evenings/nights) affect work-life outcomes;
  • The work-life outcomes of carers of elders or a person with a chronic illness or disability;
  • What proportion of Australian workers are flourishing, compared to European workers.

AWALI 2012

AWALI 2012 reports

AWALI 2012 National Report The Big Squeeze: Work, home and care in 2012

Full Report Executive Summary Appendix

Work-Life balance in South Australia AWALI 2012 Report

Full Report Appendix

AWALI data collection was completed in March 2012, with data processing commencing in April. AWALI 2012 is the largest of the AWALI surveys to date, collecting data across a range of topics including flexibility (evaluating the impact of the Fair Work Australia Act), paid parental leave, work intensity, productivity, working from home, size of workplace and workers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

The 2012 Australian Work Life Index (AWALI) was launched on 28 September 2012 by the Federal Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, the Hon Mark Butler MP, at an event hosted by CEDA (Committee for Economic Development of Australia), together with the Centre for Work + Life and SafeWorkSA. The following podcasts are available Researchers / Panel / Minister


A national report summarising key findings is produced following each data collection. Each AWALI survey takes a particular focus:

  • 2007 - on working time;
  • 2008 - on workplace culture;
  • 2009 - on requests for flexibility and their outcomes, and how work-life pressures affect participation in education and training;
  • 2010 - on future employment participation, generational differences and holiday leave.

AWALI 2010 Report AWALI 2009 Report AWALI report 2008 AWALI 2007 report

2007 2008 2009 2010


2010 AWALI Report: How much should we work? Working hours, holidays, and working life: the participation challenge. Barbara Pocock, Natalie Skinner & Sandra Pisaniello

Executive Summary

Full Report

More information: Launch presentation. SA AWALI

2010 AWALI SafeWork SA report: Juggling work-life balance in South Australia Executive Summary Full Report Appendix

2009 AWALI Report: 'Work, life and workplace flexibility: the Australian work and life index 2009'. Barbara Pocock, Natalie Skinner and Reina Ichii Full report Executive Summary

More information - launch presentations: Work, life and workplace flexibility Participation in Education and Training-A Work-Life Issue

2008 AWALI Report: 'Work, life and workplace culture: the Australian work and life index 2008'.Natalie Skinner and Barbara Pocock. Full report

2007 'AWALI Report: Work, Life and Time: The Australian Work and Life Index 2007'. Barbara Pocock, Natalie Skinner and Philippa Williams. Full Report

For more information on the concepts and methodology underpinning AWALI see The Australian Work and Life Index (AWALI): Concepts, Methodology and Rationale .


AWALI survey tool


AWALI serves as a benchmarking tool to compare and contrast work-life outcomes across various groups defined by geographic location, employment characteristics (e.g. occupation, work hours, industry, job quality) and social demographics (e.g. gender, age, parenthood, income). Detailed information on AWALI survey tool

It also serves as a powerful analysis tool to examine the protective and risk factors related to work-life conflict, and the social, community and health outcomes affected by the state of the work-life relationship.

AWALI makes a new and useful contribution to existing knowledge and policy in four ways:

  1. It includes a random sample drawn from all working Australians, permitting analysis of work and family issues but extending more broadly to work–life issues as they affect all Australian workers across the life cycle.

  2. It is annual in nature, allowing for the analysis of change over time, based on a cross-section of surveyed working Australians.

  3. It includes work-to-community interactions.

  4. It analyses a wide range of life issues (including care responsibilities, relationships and health outcomes) with a wide range of work effects (including hours of work, job quality, forms of employment, industry, occupation and unionisation). This analysis is set in the context of geographic, personal and household factors (including gender, age, education, location and commuting time).

    At the core of AWALI is the five-item work–life index which assesses the work–life relationship on five key dimensions:

    1. 'General interference' (i.e. the frequency with which work interferes with responsibilities or activities outside work and vice versa)

    2. 'Time strain' (i.e. the frequency with which work keeps workers from spending the amount of time they would like with family or friends and vice versa)

    3. Work-to-community interaction, measuring the frequency with which work affects workers' ability to develop or maintain connections and friendships in their community

    4. Satisfaction with overall work–life 'balance'

    5. Frequency of feeling rushed or pressed for time.

      AWALI data is collected using computer-assisted telephone interviews.

Areas of study and research

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