The workload of academics in Australia is increasing. Among the potential ramifications of this are work-related stress and burnout. Unions have negotiated workload models in employment agreements as a means of distributing workload in a fair and transparent manner. This qualitative pilot study aimed to explore how academics perceive their current workload and the utility of workload formulas within their workplace. The findings revealed five themes: scepticism, anger, vindication, justice and balance. Workload models appear to have utility within academia as a means of balancing role expectations in an equitable and transparent manner. They are also useful for demonstrating workloads to management objectively and identifying staff at increased risk of burnout because of inappropriately high workloads. Problematic issues identified were perceptions that workload models are management tools to control and monitor the workplace, and their implementation would not result in change.