In March 2020, correctional facilities were not exempt from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and may have been impacted more severely compared to other work settings, especially due to workplace stressors (CDC, 2021; Montoya-Barthelemy, 2020; Okano & Blower, 2020; Rubin, 2020). Utilizing a novel approach (Introduction, Integration, Implementation, and Interpretation), this case study evaluates the strengths and challenges of integrating a clinical perspective in participatory action research.
Office interiors are equally available to every employee that enters and works in the space, while wellness programs and training impact a select few due to limited resources, driving well-being inequality in the workforce. Trauma from the pandemic experience suggests that a greater number of workers will interpret work events and situations as threats, potentially increasing stress responses. This applied research/design project is focused on how office design features, interior architecture, furnishings, and technology can be designed to nudge workers to change behaviors, decisions, and activities that can moderate stress. We are investigating two interventions, 1) offering more user control through flexibility of furnishings and choice of location, and 2) ?legible space? that is easy to understand and offers ability to access resources, to determine how they can be jointly used to reduce stress.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the trucking industry emerged as essential and like many other industries, strived to maintain operations and keep workers safe without an established roadmap for navigating such an emergency. Following the Risk Information Seeking and Processing Model (RISP; Mead & Rimal, 2014) framework, we interviewed nine local/short haul stakeholders to learn about their public health information seeking and work experiences during the pandemic. Findings reveal that there was a lack of consistency in approaches to information seeking, satisfaction with the information available varied, worker mental health was not prioritized, and employee input was not sought. Industry stakeholders emphasized the importance of flexibility and using this experience to be ready for future possible emergencies. Findings will inform public health messaging and the industry?s emergency preparedness efforts.
In spite of mitigation efforts taking place to contain COVID-19 in 2020, confirmed cases still soared within one correctional facility in a northeast state. To examine facility pandemic-related responses, qualitative data was gathered via focus groups of facility staff. Focus group themes were: staff and inmate compliance with safety protocols, communication of policies or procedures, the role of facility administrators in responding to the pandemic, and a work culture of presenteeism. We identified several areas for improvement of facility policy and protocols to protect workers and inmates from the transmission of COVID-19 and similar communicable illnesses.