With the dramatic swing to working-from-arrangements and new work technologies because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Comcare "emerging evidence alert" has highlighted new research on the connection between technology acceptance, engagement and wellbeing.
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A follow-up union survey has found that few employers are taking steps to support workers' mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, or have consulted their workers on how they plan to respond if a staff member develops coronavirus symptoms or tests positive to the disease.
The new National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan has marked workplaces as key "outreach sites" for tackling COVID-19-related mental health issues, and identified a wide range of worker groups significantly impacted by the pandemic. Meanwhile, employers have been directed to develop COVID-19 safety plans as pandemic restrictions ease.
Mistrust from supervisors and IT hassles are common experiences among workers suffering psychological distress while working from home under COVID-19 restrictions, a survey of more than 1,100 Australian workers has found.
The surge in working from home arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic has created an opportunity for sedentary workers to break unhealthy sitting habits and "re-engineer" movement back into their workday, a human movement expert says.
With the release of the national "roadmap" out of coronavirus restrictions, a senior WHS lawyer has urged employers to consult with workers and HSRs, identify COVID-19 risk factors unique to their business, and implement "pandemic plans" for positive diagnoses and transitioning workers back to remote work if the situation deteriorates.
Safety processes for staff working alone or in remote locations must include strict training regimes and call-in procedures that don't place "unreasonable reliance" on "personal vigilance", a coronial inquiry into a worker's death has shown.
Lapses in behaviour standards, misunderstood tone and context and the unintended exclusion of workers relying on electronic interactions during the COVID-19 pandemic can exacerbate psychological injury risks, a senior safety lawyer has warned.