Optus to measure wellbeing impact of Sydney rail line closure

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Optus to measure wellbeing impact of Sydney rail line closure

Corporate wellbeing app to assess impact of Sydney rail line closure.

Optus will contribute aggregate employee sentiment data to a University of Sydney study into how the temporary closure of a Sydney rail link impacts regular commuters.

Sydney's Chatswood to Epping rail line will close on September 30 so it can be re-fitted for new metro trains. Buses will replace the service for seven months, adding at least ten minutes to journeys.

Optus' Sydney HQ is on the rail line and, as the telco has over 5,000 staff at the site, the carrier will be among the most-impacted organisations once the train service pauses.

The line's closure will therefore serve as a test case for a new corporate wellbeing app.

“Our vision is for employees to use this new tool regularly to stay on track of their health and wellbeing, especially during times of organisational change,” Optus said in a blog post.

“It’s important to note the app is completely confidential, so employees can be honest about their health and wellbeing progress without the fear of others knowing.”

The app takes input from employees “across five different categories; body, mind, social, career and money”, and then tailors responses to them.

It is designed to get more Optus employees accessing information which would otherwise only be available via an Optus portal.

While the telco is hoping it will help it better understand employees' state of mind, it also revealed the data will be of value to the external university-led project.

Optus said that the impending seven month closure of the Chatswood to Epping rail line  would be a case study for how its staff handled “large organisational change”.

“In collaboration with the University of Sydney, we will pull aggregated data from the app to measure the impact of the rail shutdown on the health and productivity of our people at our Macquarie Park campus," the company's post said.

“The purpose of the study is to evaluate the joint impact of environmental and technical changes on wellbeing, and to provide data to inform organisational change in the future.”

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