What is the research about?

Work Across Life & Careers (WALC) is a large-scale, national research initiative that examines work and its impact on people’s lives and careers. The research studies the long-term effects between people’s work experiences and their personality, health and happiness. We want to better understand how work and people change. Our research findings will build an evidence base for improving organisational and governmental policy and practice, to create good quality work for all.

What is myWALC?

myWALC is your personal gateway to participate in the WALC research. myWALC enables you to complete surveys, get analytics on your data, and access evidence-based resources that you can use to improve your work-related experiences. It’s like an app but without the need to download anything. You automatically get your personal myWALC account when registering your participation for the research. Details like your name and email address are kept separate from your survey responses at all times. You can opt out of the research by deleting your myWALC account at any time.

Who is doing the research?

The research is led by Prof Sharon Parker, Director of the Centre for Transformative Work Design at Curtin University. The research is funded by a Laureate Fellowship grant from the Australian Research Council (FL160100033). There will be no costs to you for participating in this research or for using myWALC.

Curtin University Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) has approved this study (HREC2020-0045; Research Data Management Plan: WENZER-VC07146). For any questions, please contact the research team by email at research@walc.org.au or call 08 9266 5550. Should you wish to discuss the study with someone not directly involved, in particular, any matters concerning the conduct of the study or your rights as a participant, or you wish to make a confidential complaint, you may contact the Ethics Officer on (08) 9266 9223 or the Manager, Research Integrity on (08) 9266 7093 or email hrec@curtin.edu.au.

Why me and what will I do?

The research invites everyone in Australia of 18 years age and above to participate. It’s ok if you work part-time, study, lead a firm, or raise kids. You and your voice are really important. We will invite you to online surveys which you can complete whenever it suits you. You can complete all of them in about 1 hour total or split them up to match your schedule. As WALC is a long-term research study, we continue these online surveys every year. So occasionally, we will email you a survey reminder. Typical survey questions relate to you and your work experience, how happy you are, what you think about the future, which way you feel about your job, and so on. You may be asked to indicate your agreement with some statement or enter some brief text response.

What are the benefits of participation?

Participating in the research encourages you to reflect on your work experiences and your career. It has been shown that this can help people set and strive for meaningful goals in relation to their job and life. The myWALC app provides you with evidence-based and personlised analytics and insights, with which you can use to determine and improve your work experiences and career. There will be no cost to you for using the myWALC app or for taking part in this research. Plus, your input informs how we as a society can better work and live in the future. By contributing to the research, you help us make useful recommendations to improve employment practices, education, training, and organisational leadership.

Participants will generally not be paid for taking part.

What are the risks to participation?

Apart from giving up a little of your time, we do not expect that there will be any risks or inconveniences associated with taking part in this research. The questions in the surveys are not known to cause any distress. If any question causes you any concerns, you do not need to answer it. Should anything make you anxious, please consult your GP.

What data is collected and who has access?

We respect and protect your privacy. All data collected is treated as confidential and used only for research purposes (Curtin University, Research Data Management Plan: WENZER-VC07146)Participation in this long-term research project requires us to communicate with you, this is why you are asked to register for a myWALC account and provide some contact details. By default, all your identifiable information such as name and email address are stored separate from your subsequent survey responses used for research purposes. In principle, all information collected in this research can be re-identified but this is neither intended and only approved when required by law.

Your identifiable information is only accessible to very few people in the core research team for communication purposes, and in the event of an audit or investigation, staff from the Curtin University Office of Research and Development. You will not be identified in any results that are published or presented from the anonymised survey responses. All data access is password-protected. The information we collect in this long-term research study will be kept under secure conditions for a minimum of 7 years to validate the research outcomes. Deleting your myWALC account will remove you from all communication with us but not automatically erase your existing survey responses.

How will I learn about the results?

Results from the research will only be shared as anonymous and aggregate findings in public reports, scholarly articles or blog news, for instance on the research website walc.org.au. As WALC is a long-term research project, there is no definitive publication date, instead we will infrequently communicate important news to you through email and myWALC.

Do I have to take part in the research?

Taking part in the WALC research is voluntary. It is your choice to take part or not. You do not have to agree if you do not want to. If you decide to take part and then change your mind, that is okay. You can withdraw from the project by deleting your myWALC account. If you chosoe to stop participation in the WALC research, we continue to use any information collected to date unless directed otherwise (please email us at research@walc.org.au). If you choose not to take part or start and then stop the study, it will not affect your relationship with Curtin University, or any of its staff.

Who can I contact?

For any questions, please contact the research team by email at research@walc.org.au or call 08 9266 5550.

After successful registration, you will receive an email that includes a copy of the above Participant Information for you to keep.