The surge of flexible working arrangements is creating new challenges for employers, but the right approach to this "new normal" can optimise employee wellbeing and ensure those who still want to work in the office don't feel abandoned, according to the authors of a major Australian study.
New ways of working are emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic and providing opportunities to improve workers' work-life balance and fatigue levels, but they must be provided with the skills to match the evolved workplace, an ex-US military sleep researcher says.
The COVID-19 pandemic and remote working arrangements are exacerbating the significant health and safety risks posed by sickness presenteeism, but they also provide an opportunity to establish cultural norms that encourage workers to take sick leave when they have infectious diseases or other illnesses, organisational psychologists say.
Comcare will roll out a low-intensity cognitive behaviour therapy program to up to 120,000 Commonwealth employees over the next two years, while continuing to provide mental health first-aid training to its own workers, its 2019-20 annual report shows.
Work issues can increase the risk of pregnant workers going on to experience postpartum depression, and employers are being urged to train up "family-supportive supervisors" to support work-life balance and returning to work after maternity leave.
The COVID-19 pandemic and changes forced on employers have given safety professionals a unique opportunity to redesign work practices to eliminate sources of harm, Australian occupational health experts say. Meanwhile, Victoria has extended its state of disaster for COVID-19.
Employers will be permitted to direct employees to perform duties at home or another place outside of the usual workplace providing that place is safe and appropriate, under a draft model flexibility schedule driven by the risk of further COVID-19 outbreaks.
Workers working remotely because of COVID-19 or other reasons are more likely to engage in self-endangering behaviours like working while ill, according to researchers, who say employees need self-management training.