“This is not only about their working life. It is about their lives,” says Dag Yngve Dahle, who has written a book on the freedom of expression in working life together with Maria Amelie, called ‘Moderne munnkurv’, or Modern muzzle. They look at what happens to people who have been accused of a breach of loyalty to their employer.
“All this research on collective decision making is important, but it has its limitations. I think far too much has been exaggerated. There is an extremely good relationship between the workers’ representatives and the company leadership,” exclaims Knut E. Sunde, director of industrial policy at the Federation of Norwegian Industries.
People’s perceived level of influence over their own work situation has plummeted in Norway. In seven years the number of people saying they have a lot of influence has fallen from 89 percent to 77 percent. Imported leadership models get the blame.
There are great ambitions to be found in the Nordic region: “Sweden will be a world leader in exploiting the opportunities of digitalisation”. Danish businesses will be “among the best in Europe when it comes to using IT, Big Data and e-commerce to create growth”. 97 percent of Norwegians have access to the internet, Iceland is third in the world for information technology while the Finns’ digital skills are said to be the best in the EU.
There is much talk about digitalisation and smart cities, but it is high time we posed some critical questions around how technology is being used, thinks Malin Granath. In early October she defended her thesis on the subject at the University of Linköping.
At the Solbjerg nursing home, new digital solutions have freed up more time for employees to spend with the residents, and this is just the first phase in a digital revolution. In ten years from now, all of the home’s offices will be gone, predicts the nursing home’s coordinator.
Municipalities, regions and the central Danish government authority will explore new digital opportunities while maintaining citizens’ experience of the public arena as an accessible partner. Many public sector institutions are already well underway.
Finnish commuters are facing a very different journey to work in the future. Many transport sector jobs can disappear, or at least change. New traffic legislation aims to make transport services more flexible, based on the sharing economy and call control. And the self-driving robot buses are just around the corner.
The three year long project starts in October. It will develop small businesses in the Finnish and Swedish archipelago, across borders and disciplines. The aim is to create new businesses, new knowledge and new clusters of cooperation, where digital opportunities play an important role.
New management models are threatening a long tradition of collective decision making within Nordic labour life, Nordic researchers say. Employees loose influence and their chance to cooperate to reach constructive solutions within organisations and businesses.
The Nordic countries are top of the world when it comes to trust. This means people dare to cooperate, which benefits the economy a great deal. And from trust more trust is born.
Signe Jarvad is the boss of 60 employees at Copenhagen’s Leisure and Culture Administration and not afraid of making decisions. But not without sounding out all relevant parties, and she also leaves many of the decisions to the employees. She believes this has led to higher work satisfaction and more innovation.
Managing and leading public sector jobs using trust can help solve the complex challenges facing the Nordic welfare states, believes a researcher behind a new study on the Copenhagen trust reform. She challenges the Nordics to share experiences of trust-based management and leadership.
The sharing economy represents a challenge to the labour market as we know it. In the face of this development, the Swedish trade union Unionen has just entered an agreement with German IG Metall. The aim is to find tools for how to organise the growing part of the labour force which works through online platforms.
The core idea of labour law is to protect the weaker party in an employment relation. This is increasingly under attack from market-led thinking where the main aim is to create opportunities for everyone to get a job. This might sound good, but it could lead to a worsening of conditions for both those who have managed to get a foot in the door of the regulated labour market and for those who are knocking, waiting to get in.
The new way of organising the selling of services can be confusing, and so too the accompanying terminology. Here is a short glossary for the most common expressions.
The sharing economy, where customers use the Internet to find providers of different services without using physical middlemen, is also a threat to the Nordic model which builds on collective agreements. Employers and employees are forming non-contract relationships within a growing number of trades. If there is a contract, it mostly states that the partners cannot be considered to be employer or employee.
Many young workers in the Nordic countries live dangerously in the workplace, according to a new Nordic report. The risk for physical injury as well as psychological ill health is considerably higher among young workers compared to older ones.
Employees should be whistling when they go to work and when they go home again. That is the ambition at the Center for Social Indsats (Centre for Social Measures) – a municipal workplace employing 275 people on the Danish island of Lolland. And there are many reasons to whistle contently: their psychological working environment has been named the best in Denmark.
A newly formed group of consultants will be helping municipalities improve employees’ psychological working environments. There is great interest in getting support.