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Flexible workplaces yield better-rested and more engaged workforces

The last 18 months have given experts the chance to extensively assess the value that flexible workplaces offer both employees and businesses. 

Business Fergus Halliday 13 January 2022
— 1 minute read

The shift to remote work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed new insights about how flexible working contributes to the wellbeing of employees.

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According to research commissioned and published by the NSW government, those with flexible working conditions are often better rested, more engaged and have a higher level of wellbeing than those who work exclusively from an office.

NSW government director of the Centre for Work Health and Safety Skye Buatava said the challenges of the pandemic provided an opportunity to investigate whether and how remote working can add value to the lives of both employees and businesses.

“Flexible and remote working has of course become commonplace over the last few years, and during last year’s lockdown we commissioned this study to investigate how our workforce was finding working from home,” she said.

Overall, the research suggested that remote and flexible work environments are beneficial for employees. Surveyed workers reported lower levels of sleeping trouble and higher levels of general wellbeing.

“It’s reassuring to see that for the most part, working flexibly can be a very positive experience for workers,” Ms Buatava said.

That being said, the research also highlighted gaps when it came to the health and safety support mechanisms in place for remote and flexible workers.

“We discovered that some flexible workers felt their organisation did not have adequate work health and safety processes in place and that training around mental wellness was lacking,” Ms Buatava explained.

The dramatic shift to flexible work during recent lockdowns has only highlighted where businesses needed to ensure their policies and procedures reflect the realities of the modern workplace.

Ms Buatava said the NSW government was committed to supporting businesses that need assistance adapting via a suite of training modules and guidance materials. These publicly accessible resources promise to help both employers and employees create a mentally healthy workplace at home, regardless of whether lockdown restrictions are in effect.

“The shift to flexible work has been dramatic due to COVID restrictions and we need to ensure that businesses have up to date policies and procedures for their workforce, whether in the office or not,” she added.

Flexible workplaces yield better-rested and more engaged workforces
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Emma Ryan

Emma Ryan is the deputy head of content at Momentum Media and editor of the company's legal publication, Lawyers Weekly.

Emma has worked for Momentum Media since 2015 and has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest stories in corporate Australia. In addition, she has produced exclusive multimedia and event content related to the company's respective brands and audiences.

A journalist by training, Emma has spent her career connecting with key industry stakeholders across a variety of platforms, including online, podcast and radio. She graduated from Charles Sturt University with a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism).

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