Flexible work and psychosocial safety

Research question

What are the psychosocial risks associated with working from an alternate location?

What is this research about?

Flexible work is becoming more common and the demographics of the Australian workforce is shifting (e.g. ageing population, increase of women participation in management roles, increase of males undertaking caring roles, increased participation of workers with a disability, and global mobility reshaping the profile of organisations). More businesses are providing flexible work arrangements leading to a pressing need for a new and more inclusive WHS framework. Workers are under a combined influence of individual psychological factors and the surrounding social environment on their wellbeing and ability to function.

This project seeks to understand the psychosocial risks that employees may face when working from locations different to their usual place of work, and to develop new strategies to prevent psychosocial harm amongst these employees.

What will the researchers do?

The researchers will explore the potential risks of flexible, remote and ‘working from home’ working practices as new ways of working become increasingly common.

To achieve this, they will:

  • Examine the mental health and behavioural risks associated with flexible work arrangements, with a focus on employees within New South Wales;
  • Explore to what degree flexible working employees with diverse characteristics (e.g. age, gender, carer roles, disability, etc.) are exposed to psychosocial risks;
  • Identify barriers and challenges to improve WHS outcomes for flexible working employees; and
  • Create a best practice approach to improve WHS outcomes for flexible working.

Research partners and stakeholders

Edith Cowan University

The University of New South Wales

Southern Cross University

Queensland University of Technology

Sydney Water

Live Better


Project commenced: June 2020

Project completion: June 2021

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