Avoiding computer-related injuries

With the advent of online teaching, many UNE staff are spending more time than ever in front of a computer. Long, uninterrupted periods of typing and using a mouse may put them at increased risk of developing overuse or other injuries. Fortunately, there are plenty of things they can do to reduce this risk, including taking regular breaks, stretching, making sure their workstation is ergonomically set up, and, potentially, switching to speech recognition software.

Speech recognition software is easy-to-use, extremely accurate, and much faster than typing. For most people, it takes as little as 10 minutes for the software to learn to recognise their voice.

To find out more about speech recognition software and other safety precautions you can take when using a computer, staff should contact me at dmccurdy@une.edu.au or on ext. 3232.

Keep safe,
Daphne McCurdy
OH&S Manager, UNE

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Meetings, meetings…

In my years at UNE and at other universities I have attended many meetings. Some were well run, but I have also sat through unpleasant and pointless ones, and these experiences got me thinking: what can leaders do to create productive and satisfying meetings?

With colleagues, I recently completed a study addressing exactly that point. The results, published this year in Current Psychology, could be of practical interest to my fellow UNE staff members. In particular, the following behaviours, when exhibited by meeting leaders, showed a significant correlation with meeting attendees feeling that the meeting was productive or satisfying:

  1. arriving before the start of the meeting
  2. speaking succinctly
  3. moving the meeting along
  4. encouraging participation
  5. encouraging decision making
  6. paraphrasing a comment made by someone at the meeting
  7. smiling
  8. saying something positive about the future of the organization
  9. summarizing the decisions made.

I have been trialling some of these techniques in my own meetings, and I encourage anyone else leading a meeting to try the same. You can read more about the study on my blog: http://blog.une.edu.au/usingpsychology/2012/08/05/how-to-run-organisational-meetings/.

John Malouff, PhD, JD
Assoc Prof of Psychology

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