Workplace design for the Australian residential aged care workforce

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Abstract

Objectives

This research explored residential aged care (RAC) workplace design features that influence how RAC staff feel valued, productive, safe, like they belong and connected. A secondary aim was to validate emerging themes about RAC design features with stakeholders.

Methods

A multistage qualitative study was conducted in one RAC facility with 100 residents in outer metropolitan Melbourne: (i) photo-elicitation – photographs were used to prompt discussions with RAC staff; (ii) individual interviews with RAC directors; and (iii) validity testing with the advisory committee occurred.

Results

Key workplace design features that influenced how RAC staff feel valued, productive, safe, like they belong and connected included the following: (i) home-like environment; (ii) access to outdoor spaces; (iii) quality indoor environment; and (iv) access to safe, open and comfortable workplaces.

Conclusions

Key workplace design features that matter to RAC staff in a ‘shared workspace’ exist. Increasing demands upon RAC requires evidence-based workplace design policy and evaluation approaches that support RAC staff to work in RAC shared workspaces.

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