The Centre for Work Health and Safety have released research proposing a design model for OHS systems that include working-from-home (WFH) arrangements.

This study utilised a co-design process in which stakeholders collaborated to design a model inclusive of WFH within a psychologically safe work environment.

The conceptual model is multi-level incorporating systems and organisational considerations.

From a systems perspective the paper concludes the external environment has a significant role, as a driver for change through legislation and regulation, but also for guidance on the emerging challenges of working within OHS systems developed with traditional office environments in mind.

At the organisational level, findings highlight commitment and trust from senior management is critical for the psychological safety of WFH employees.

Study findings also suggest current capacity to assess psychological risk is hindered by lack of suitable tools for identifying psych hazards, with study participants noting OHS systems still tend to focus on physical hazards.

This poor capability to identify and monitor psyche hazards also suggests awareness and skills training shortcomings in OHS managers.

Resourcing of WFH arrangements was another major barrier to employee wellbeing. Lack of tools to support psychosocial risk detection and management were a major concern.

Accordingly Researchers developed a number of prototype assessment tools as a further output of their study, required to support line managers and employees with differing yet overlapping issues.

Tools for managers include baseline resources and training on relation-oriented leadership, while worker tools were developed to assist with OHS aspects of their role and WFH environment.

The study is free to access, for the next month or so, via this link.

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