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Predictions for a sustainable working life 2024

Expert tips


Some of our experts at Falck offer their predictions on what will be important for a sustainable working life in 2024.

The manager's impact on employee health

LEADERSHIP: Research shows that there is a connection between a healthy work environment and performance. We have known for a long time that leadership has a direct impact on the organizational and social work environment. A leadership that promotes health and well-being is a leadership that can embrace and combine behaviors that are relationship-oriented, task-oriented and change-oriented.

If the manager perceives his or her work situation as sustainable, it has a major positive impact on the entire organization's outcome and the employees' motivation, commitment and well-being. Factors that directly affect the manager's well-being are the number of employees that the manager is responsible for, the support the manager receives from his or her manager and the degree of openness and opportunity for dialogue and support that exists in the organization.

Organizations that consciously work to create good conditions for managers to do their work also build conditions for health and performance among employees. All in all, this shows that systematic and consistent work environment management is the way to a healthy work environment.

Lena-Karin Allinger, Organizational Consultant

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If the manager perceives their work situation as sustainable, it has a positive impact on the entire organisation.

Work lock-in and ill health

CAREER AND OUTPLACEMENT: There are many indications that we are now heading towards a recession where streamlining operations and reducing the number of employees are at the top of the agenda for many organizations. An often overlooked and critical activity in a challenging economy is to prepare employees for change.

Workplace lock-in describes a situation where an employee feels stuck in their current job and has difficulty switching to another position. Occupational lock-in, on the other hand, means that an individual feels limited to their current occupation and has difficulty exploring other career opportunities.

Research shows that employees who experience workplace and occupational lock-in are at increased risk of burnout, depression, and other health problems. This, in turn, can affect productivity, increase employee turnover, and create an unfavorable work environment. This connection is also something that we at Falck clearly see in many of our meetings with customers.

In a time of recession, it is especially important to work actively for a work environment that promotes diversity, development and well-being. By supporting employees' personal and professional growth and integrating career coaching where needed, organizations can contribute to a more sustainable and healthy workplace.

Ulrika Eurén, Product Owner for Career and Outplacement

Mattias Klawitter psykolog Falck Healthcare opening quote

Have structures and guidelines in place so that everyone knows what applies in a crisis.

Be ready in case of a crisis

CRISIS SUPPORT: During autumn 2023, we have seen increased unrest in various parts of the world. In troubled times, our customers are become more aware of the value of being able to get immediate access to emergency support through our crisis hotline. A forecast for the coming year is that more organisations start working preventively and increase crisis preparedness, regardless of industry.

For those who are responsible for personnel and the work environment, it provides a sense of stability to know that there are ready-made structures, guidelines and checklists for handling serious incidents. Internal crisis management action plans contain just that: concrete documents that are easy to understand in emergency management.

Ensure that your existing crisis action plans are updated and ensure that you are prepared to deal with situations involving terrorist attacks, shootings and ongoing deadly violence. Also make sure that managers in key functions understand the action plans and feel confident in how it can be used.

Recurring training for management teams and crisis organisations provides in-depth knowledge of crisis management before, during and after an incident.

Mattias Klawitter, Psychologist and Crisis Coordinator

Work systematically with sick leave

REHAB: Historically, a recession has meant a reduction in sick leave, but as we predicted already in 2023, we are now seeing a change in that trend. The pandemic leaves behind many overworked employees and a large healthcare backlog. We also see that the end of the working year is characterized by a peak of illness, which previously used to occur in February.

The new conditions make it even more important for you as an employer to systematically follow up repeated sick leave with the relevant employees and ensure an active process for employees who are in an ongoing sick leave and rehab process.

For rehab work, it is important to have a clear policy in place. Another important step is to collect sickness absence statistics and document the efforts that are made so that both you and the employee can remember what you have agreed on.

In order to increase the organization's well-being and reduce sick leave, it is also important to prioritize health-promoting efforts and strengthen the group's cohesion.

Anna Sporrong, Senior Rehab Consultant

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Create a culture where each employee takes responsibility for their own and others' safety.

Minimize risks at work

SYSTEMATIC WORK ENVIRONMENT MANAGEMENT: Safety and well-being in the workplace are crucial and no one should be put in danger during the working day. However, there are professions that involve increased risks. Unfortunately, it is also not uncommon for businesses to fail in their systematic work to manage these risks, which can have serious consequences.

To improve safety and reduce risk, it is important to focus on behavior-based security and raise awareness of risks. It's not just a matter of implementing policies and procedures; It's also about creating a culture where every employee takes responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others.

If the goal is a behaviour-based safety culture, it is important that the basics of systematic work environment management with risk assessments work smoothly in a business. In addition, it is important that the management shows symbolic value in that the systematic work environment management is the business.

To increase your organization's well-being and resilience, it's also important to review your psychological capital. Creating a safe working environment is not only about physical risks, but also about promoting a positive and healthy work culture.

Monica Green, Work Environment Engineer

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Research has shown that shorter treatment interventions have similar effects to longer treatments

Alcohol issues are part of systematic work environment management

RISK USE AND ADDICTION: Many of the societal problems we faced in 2023 look set to continue in the coming years. In troubled times, there is a risk that employees will turn to alcohol to temporarily reduce stress and anxiety. A common risk is that the employee's problems are identified too late.

As a manager, you have a responsibility to actively work to prevent harmful use and addiction. It is important that there is a clear policy and guidelines for what applies at your workplace and that they are known and communicated to employees. You can also work preventively by educating employees about the risks of alcohol consumption and what counts as harmful use.

By paying attention to early signals and helping employees with problems, you as a manager can minimize long-term ill health, suffering and impact on the work group and the organization. Research studies have shown that shorter treatment interventions have a similar effect to longer treatments, in employees who are socially established and at work.

Ann Berntsdotter, Occupational Health Physician