Work environment: getting positive results

One in four workers in Europe suffer from stress or other psychosocial difficulties according to Eurofound’s latest survey. But the work for a better work environment is a fight against a many-headed troll. The number of challenges typical of modern working life are increasing. The dangers in the service industry are different from those on the factory floor. As work to improve work environments shifts focus to psychological factors and positive measures, new dangers emerge because of new technology, like nano technology.

Nov 12, 2014 | Photo: Tomas Bertelsen

Above: Mathias Schou Sørensen at Danish retail chain Netto stresses to stack all the goods. One of the largest work environment threats in the retail sector is robberies targeted at young workers.  



Latest news
Jobs top of the agenda at meeting of Nordic prime minsters (Nov 10, 2014) Removing border obstacles and increasing investments to create jobs are some of the visions shared by the Nordic prime ministers. During the Stockholm session of the Nordic Council, they also expressed a wish to expand the Nordic region as a brand.
Make room for creativity in the workplace (Nov 10, 2014) Forget sending employees to courses in creativity and focus on creative breaks during the working day instead. That is one of many pieces of advice from Denmark’s new professor of creative leadership, businessman and billionaire Christian Stadil.
Social Europe under pressure (Oct 24, 2014) There’s a conflict between the EU’s social ambitions and national autonomy, not least when it comes to the labour market, Sweden’s newly elected Minister for Employment Ylva Johansson told a seminar in Stockholm on 22 October.
Finnish cases in EU Court of Justice could have Nordic consequences (Oct 14, 2014) Is the Finnish system of universally applicable collective agreements incompatible with the free movement of services? That is what an advocate-general at the Court of Justice of the European Union suggests in a fresh opinion. The case is only one out of three current ones which could have a major impact on the Nordic countries’ labour markets.
Stefan Löfven (S): Sweden will be a global role model (Oct 03, 2014) Prime Minister Löfven called his new government feminist as he presented it in parliament on Friday. It has 23 government ministers — 12 women and 11 men plus the Prime Minister — and is a coalition comprising the Social Democrats and the Green Party. Work was top of Löfven’s speech.
Researchers: Employment has become more important than job content (Sep 10, 2014) Working life has been on the agenda during the Swedish general election campaign, and especially unemployment. More jobs are needed. Yet visions for the content of those jobs have not figured politically — an inconsistency highlighted by a group of researchers at a recent meeting in Stockholm.
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Recent articles
Editorial: Knowledge and efforts needed for a better work environment (Nov 12, 2014) Comments We all want a working life we can live with. How do you achieve that? We have asked people in workplaces which have won awards for good work environments, experts and others who are serious about the work environment: what is needed to create change for the better?
Ylva Johansson: Minister for Employment with a feminist agenda (Nov 11, 2014) Portrait Her ambitions are clear: youth unemployment is priority number one. Second on the list is to match jobseekers and jobs. She wants to improve working conditions in female-dominated workplaces and she will fight for more social rights within the EU.
Threats and Possibilities facing Nordic Working Life (Nov 03, 2014) Research Guy Standing has analysed the devastating effects for the labour market of deregulation and un-limited competition and found a new social class emerging from the shattered well fare society – the precariat – “The Dangerous Class”.
Social scientists must guide us out of the crisis (Oct 15, 2014) Analysis "There is a fire of resentment burning across Europe, and there’s an urgent need to calm tensions. Social scientists need to get involved. Dogmatic economists have been allowed to dominate the debate for too long," says Maurizio Ferrera, Professor at the University of Milan.
Editorial: A guarantee for the future? (Oct 15, 2014) Comments There are fewer young people outside education, employment or training in Denmark than in Sweden. Why do the Danes succeed? While all of Europe is learning from the Finnish youth guarantee, the Nordic Labour Journal has spoken to Nordic youths about their experiences, and examined how countries succeed with their measures. Central to them all are vocational educations, apprenticeships and internships.
Kvinfo Director: The Nordics can’t afford not to be gender equal (Oct 15, 2014) Portrait Modern gender equality must liberate both sexes, and the Nordic region must be at the forefront of this. It is too expensive not to, says Nina Groes, Director at the Danish Centre for Information on Gender, Equality and Diversity, Kvinfo.
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Ylva Johansson front page Ylva Johansson: Minister for Employment with a feminist agenda

Her ambitions are clear: youth unemployment is priority number one. Second on the list is to match jobseekers and jobs. She wants to improve working conditions in female-dominated workplaces and she will fight for more social rights within the EU.

“My task is to make sure the labour market works and to improve measures to get more unemployed into work,” Ylva Johansson tells the Nordic Labour Journal.

She will do this through good cooperation. A cooperative spirit and optimism seem to be her tools for realising policies, whether it comes to getting a minority government’s budget voted through parliament, or securing good cooperation with the social partners in working life, municipalities and county councils — and not least with the rest of the government. 
“The government’s work must be aimed at investment and growth in order to create more jobs.”

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Per cent of workforce -
link to source:

Denmark 6.6 -September

Finland 8.2 - September

Norway 3.7 - August

Iceland 4.1 - September

Sweden 7.9 - October

OECD 7.2 - September


Some earlier themes:
Media in crisis - a challenge for democracy? Media in crisis - a challenge for democracy
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Celebrating 60 years with a borderless labour market Celebrating 60 years with a borderless labour market
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