LinkedIn launches 'Bring Your Whole Self' to work campaign

Research finds majority of Australian workers not comfortable with being themselves at work

As kids we’re not afraid to be ourselves, but as we grow older it can be harder to be yourself at work. We spend a considerable amount of time at work so being comfortable with who you are and expressing what you feel is vital for us to be happy at work.

However, our research found that more than half of Australian workers hide some aspects of themselves in their professional life and almost three quarters don’t feel comfortable expressing their vulnerabilities at work.

The research findings have been released to coincide with the launch of #BringYourWholeSelf — a new campaign developed by LinkedIn to encourage Australians to be more open about their values, aspirations and opinions in their professional life.

When asked why they hold back elements of themselves in the workplace, over half (57 percent) of the professionals surveyed said they wanted to avoid conflict, while more than a third (35 percent) said they were concerned about how others would react or perceive them. It’s quite clear that professionals have a fear of being judged and don’t want to create any tension with their colleague or managers.

The reasons get more personal when we delved deeper to understand what’s stifling them. Thirty-five percent of respondents said they hold back expressing their mental health and wellness, with nearly 74 percent saying it is a career limiter.

Other key insights:

  • One in five Australians hold back from expressing their sexual orientation in the workplace, with many seeing it as a career limiter.
  • Two in five professionals believe their organisations could be doing more to create a “belonging” environment.
  • Nearly half of respondents said being themselves at work has positive impact on productivity.