With the dramatic swing to working-from-home 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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An international academy of leading occupational and environmental health experts has called for employers of all sizes to take all necessary steps to protect workers in the COVID-19 pandemic, which include appointing an "infection control officer", prioritising higher order controls and reducing exposure to dust and fumes, which increase the severity of infection.
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.
NSW's new emergency-measures legislation for COVID-19 has been amended to provide presumptive workers' compensation and death benefits to workers across multiple industries diagnosed with the virus. Other jurisdictions have been urged to follow suit.
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.