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COVID-19 and subsequent lockdown of affected countries has changed the way Australia and the rest of the world do business, with online working, video/teleconferences and independent working becoming increasingly normal. Those working in primary care or in allied professions however such as administration, public health, management, human resources, radiology and mental health, have found themselves unexpectedly moving their work into their homes.
There has been much discourse surrounding the consequences and benefits of the recent work from home (WFH) mass-movement. The leading benefits of working from home are increased productivity, cost and time-savings for employers and opportunities for disabled people to work. However, there a number of emerging unintended adverse consequences of WFH, including overworking, stress and fatigue.
Employee personality traits are linked with the individual’s response to WFH. It is the role of a good leader to play to an employee’s strengths and individual circumstances. WFH initiatives can provide huge economic savings for organisations. The future beyond COVID-19 must allow for flexibility in both workers’ hours and location as far as possible, with investment in telehealth and teleworking and allowance for face-to-face meetings in accommodating office-spaces.
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