Changes at work a challenge and an opportunity for well-being at work, careers and the quality of work life

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1 2014 Changes at work a challenge and an opportunity for well-being at work, careers and the quality of work life Report for the international evaluation of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH) Work group: Anu Järvensivu, Senior Researcher; Lauri Kokkinen, Researcher; Antti Kasvio, Senior Researcher; Marja Viluksela, Director of Thematic Area, FIOH

2 Contents 1. Introduction Trends and changes at work Objects, methods, times, places and communities of work have changed, and will continue to do so Global-level restructuring and drivers of change create the dynamics and framework for Finnish work Structural changes in manufacturing industry and services The objects and objectives of work and changes in occupational structures Changing times, places and tools of work Employees and work communities living in transition Summary of essential transitions and related research and application needs New unanswered questions are arising regarding ongoing change Increase of background noise as a result of continuous change, diversification and decentralization Increasing need for comprehensive joint effect analyses and life cycle perspectives Efficient chaos management and change tolerance tools and enhancement of competence help us survive in today s changing work life and global economy Identification of drivers of change and transitions in work life is increasingly important in order to understand society, identify risks and opportunities and to facilitate development... 23

3 3 1. Introduction Work life is now in a transition that is as extensive and substantial as the industrial revolution of the last century. In recent years, the concept of new work has started appearing in work life-related debates. It refers to changed practices of work, starting from the employee s emphasized role and ending in diverse ways of organizing work. Today, all forms and fields of work include an increasing amount of brainwork, communications, decision-making, and interaction. Work constitutes a scattered mosaic of network-based production, and the working day is no longer a limited, clear period of eight hours. In new work, employees are increasingly required to be capable of independently managing their work, and the workplace must support the work community, supervisory work and the use of technology. The efficiency of work and work performance used to be largely based on the tradition of industrial work: the workplace, working hours, clients, colleagues, supervisors, organizations, clients needs, products and services were all predictable. However, the transformation of work and of production and the pressures for organizational changes mean it is no longer possible to rely on these traditions. Increasing unpredictability and complexity in the operating environment have become the norm. In this article, we review and discuss the major global megatrends that are changing Finnish work life. The forces that affect the state of work life and its future development include technological development, particularly technology related to increasingly virtual reality; ecological aspects; solutions related to natural resources and energy; changes to social systems; demographic changes; globalization; and changes and constancies in values and people. Using drivers of change as the framework, we first discuss the objects and goals of work and working. Secondly, we review the times, places and tools of work and thirdly we discuss work communities. Using this background and a slightly more practical perspective, we then describe the significance of the changes for the four main client segments of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH): public authorities, OHS and OSH service organizations, workplaces and citizens. 2. Trends and changes at work 2.1 Objects, methods, times, places and communities of work have changed, and will continue to do so It is estimated that the extent of the ongoing transformation of work life will equal that of the industrial revolution. The changes have not been sudden; they have evolved over years and decades. However, it has been acknowledged that this is a time of crisis for the existing system of work, that is, we should assume a completely new approach to it. The crisis of the work system has been characterized as systemic. This means that attempts to improve one dimension of the system will probably worsen problems in another dimension. An example of the systemic nature of the crisis is the implementation of policies to reduce unemployment. Such measures increase challenges related to resources (such as energy and water) and the environment, and vice versa: controlled use of resources increases unemployment. In order to resolve a systemic crisis, we may need to comprehensively restructure the system in order to implement a more sustainable system of work and redefine the relationship between man and nature. Such a reform would involve considerable modifications to work and work life. Even if it is not deemed necessary or possible to implement a global, intentionally controlled reform of the system, work life will continue to change. In this article we discuss the changes that are already under way and visible, and which can be expected to continue for the next few years and decades.

4 4 We can get an idea of the scale and significance of the changes to work by first looking back at the last great period of transition, the industrial revolution. In Finland, the industrial revolution resulted in radical changes to the structures, practices and operating models of work. This happened around the middle of the 20th century, in the transition from an agricultural society to an industrial salarybased society: first to the industrial era and then the era of services. The changing of the work system was associated with a great migration: masses of people underwent a radical change of life, moving from rural areas into cities and from small farms to factories. In that period, the perception of the goals, objects and tools of work changed, as did the idea of the working human being. Small-scale entrepreneurs became paid employees. The work community that formerly consisted of the extended family now consisted of a group of people who worked for the same employer at the same workplace. Home and family circles became detached from each other. The concepts of working time and leisure time developed and were clearly separated from each other. In Finland, industrialization and related urbanization took place very late but at an accelerated rate. In the 1940s, over 60% of the employed workforce in sparsely populated Finland earned its living in agriculture and forestry or related processing and service industries. The change in economic structure in Finland after the middle of the 20th century was one of the most intense in Western Europe. In 1980, only 13% of the employed workforce earned their living in agriculture and forestry. Unlike many other Western European countries, in Finland industry never employed more than one third of the employed workforce. Figure 1. Proportion of workforce in Services soon surpassed industry as the largest employment sector in Finland. In 1950, slightly over 25% of the Finnish employed workforce earned their living in the service trade. In 1980, the service trade employed nearly 50% and in 2010 more than 70% of the employed workforce. Thus, in 70 years, Finland shifted from an agricultural entrepreneurial society to a (post)industrial salary-based society boasting a large public sector and inhabited by people employed in the service trade.

5 5 Figure 2. Proportion of the public sector of the employed workforce in The building of the welfare state was of great importance for this transformation process. The service trade would probably not have developed so strongly without political decisions and a social intent that steered the development towards democracy, equality and everyone s well-being. From the 1980s onward, a particularly large increase was seen in jobs in social services, health care and the information business. In addition, as a result of technological and other advancements, the educational requirements and nature of work changed radically. The capacity of different regions to adapt to the changed economic structure varied greatly. Regions with an unvaried economic structure suffered the most. Particularly in Eastern and Northern Finland, many regions became dependent on public sector jobs and the general development of the public economy. At the same time, the importance of urban areas and the surrounding growth centres increased. At the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, jobs were concentrated in the Helsinki capital region and other regions that had a university. Differences between regions have grown in the last few years, as the public service structure has concentrated to an even greater extent in urban areas. Looking back, we can see that in less than a hundred years, Finland has shifted from a practically self-sufficient society that relied strongly on physical work and was not very regionally segregated, to a highly educated salary-based capitalist society with increasing regional and other differences, whose people work in the industrial and service sectors. This change and its fundamental nature should be kept in mind when analysing expected future changes and creating scenarios concerning the future features of society and work. Considerable continuous changes to work, the objects and goals of work, tools, working hours, workplaces and work communities are possible, as well as significant changes to the status and competence of working people and the relations that regulate work. These changes are actually more likely than the alternative of remaining a traditional salary-based industrial society that interprets

6 6 work-related concepts accordingly (work, employee, workplace, work community, well-being at work and working career). Trends of change are already visible. However, today, research into work life, well-being at work and related practices focuses mainly on the industrial salary-based society. Concepts, approaches and basic hypotheses are based on the norm of paid work. Finnish legislation and social support measures are still strongly based on this norm, as are a considerable proportion of activities related to occupational health and safety and the development of work life. In the salary-based society of the industrial era, the role of the employer, the time and place of work, the work community and employees competence and identity were relatively stable: regular, ordinary, static and predictable, although much more differentiated than in the agricultural society stage. However, education and training still produced ideal employees, whose competence met employers needs, at least satisfactorily, for years or even decades after the completion of the education. Occupational health and safety could be ensured at existing workplaces that applied standard practices and regulations. Risks related to well-being at work were relatively easy to detect and verify. New work and the inevitable changes in work life are driven by a number of global trends. People cooperating with each other may be in different geographical locations, and employees may work at a number of other sites in addition to their actual workplace. The employees in a co-operating group work at different times of the day, and some employees may be located in a different time zone to the rest of the work community. The members of a team constantly change due to various reasons; employees work on fixed-term projects, and in varying compositions or networks. In new work life, the employees performing the same work may be members of several organizations. With many organizations represented at the same workplace, supervisory and authority positions may be unclear. Employment contracts and relations with the workplace are not as clearly permanent as before; fixed-term and temporary employment is increasing. The practices and culture at the workplace will take on a greater role because workplace employees are continuously changing, have different backgrounds and some of them come from other organizations. In addition, the organization must dispatch employees to perform various jobs outside the organization. The ongoing transition questions predictability, regularity, constancy and similarity. It produces increasing diversity, variety and joint effects. Furthermore, it reforms the employee image, workrelated communities and collectivity and increasingly moves work into a virtual world and virtual communities. At the same time, it forces people to look for new ideas, approaches and practices and to compete with knowledge automation. A point of fundamental transformation presents many challenges to individuals and organizations, but also to work life research, starting from the need to develop new theoretical and conceptual tools, approaches and data collection methods. The significance of averages and general or generalized issues is probably decreasing, while diversity itself and the need to understand diversity continue to increase. In statistics-based studies, dispersion and deviations will become unbearably high and respondents will no longer be reached. It will become less common to find anything that could be called typical in work life. The dynamic production environment and all over diversity will be in focus. Increasing decentralization challenges us to identify and develop structures that strengthen the feeling of coherence, order, empowerment and sense-making in work organizations and individuals. Similarly, instead of describing the state of matters still frames we will probably increasingly be describing dynamics and drivers. The conceptualization of drivers and trends may become important in order to increase opportunities to balance new work and develop a coherent and supportive work

7 7 life. Understanding changes and the logics of change helps us anticipate risks and opportunities. Interest in forecasting work life and the future of work has considerably increased in Finland in recent years. However, research is still in its early days when it comes to the development of new ways to gather and produce information for these purposes. In addition, we must learn to better understand joint and chain effects and work life developments that move in the same direction. Alone they may be insignificant, but together they constitute important drivers of change. When conducting development work at a point of transformation, multidisciplinary systematic research and development provide a foundation for better understanding the intertwined contemporary phenomena. 2.2 Global-level restructuring and drivers of change create the dynamics and framework for Finnish work The flow of new people into the sphere of the modern economy has become the most important driver of change in the work life of our time. Only slightly over twenty years ago, industrial modernization development was limited to the billion people living in the Western world. The majority of the four billion people in the rest of the world still lived in rural areas and had to content themselves with a modest income earned in traditional occupations. Since then, people all over the world are moving into cities en masse, switching from traditional occupations to new sources of living. Meanwhile, the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe and many highly populated developing countries have become attached to the modern market economy. They are competing for the attention of international companies that are planning relocation and for the resulting jobs. The world economy as a whole is growing more strongly and the focus of growth has moved from old industrial countries to developing economies, especially in the BRICS countries Brazil, Russia, India, China and South-Africa. The growth has also resulted in a new international distribution of work: companies in developed industrial countries have outsourced an increasing proportion of their routine operations offshore. Developed industrial countries are concentrating on operations that require increasingly advanced competence. In recent years, Western countries have also been attracted by the good market prospects in developing countries. International trade has become structurally imbalanced, particularly as the result of the import surplus in the United States and the export surplus in China and some raw material producing countries. Economic growth in developed industrial countries has slowed down and employment rates have developed only modestly, despite extensive recovery measures. The future development of these countries is overshadowed by heavy public sector debt and an ageing population. Despite rapid growth, developing countries have not been able to create enough job opportunities for all who need work. The competition for limited natural resources has tightened, and the environmental loads resulting from growth have increased considerably. Problems have expanded, particularly in poor developing countries, the people of which have gained practically nothing from economic growth. People are trying to emigrate from these countries by any means possible. As a whole, social gaps between population groups have grown wide, both globally and within developed industrial countries. Trying to survive in tightening competition, many people exceed the limits of their capacity, which can lead to many personal losses. This has become a problem at the individual level. However, the biggest problem is probably the fact that there are no solutions in sight to these current difficulties, not even in the next few decades. The worldwide mobilisation of resources is expected to continue strongly, as new groups of people join the flow from traditional occupations to the modern

8 8 economy. Meanwhile, large new groups of young people are reaching working age, particularly in Southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. This further increases the competition for new jobs. In developed industrial countries, organizations will have to use all the opportunities provided by technology in order to decrease the amount of human labour. In addition, resource and environmentrelated problems caused by growth are increasing each year. 2.3 Structural changes in manufacturing industry and services The areas of focus in Finnish industries and businesses are changing radically. Business-to-business services and the construction industry already employ more people than manufacturing. Production is now linked, networked and global. The transformation of the manufacturing industry affects all other fields of business, as does the digitalization of production and the introduction of knowledge work into all professions. Figure 3. Number of enterprises Finland has about 320,000 enterprises. Of these, around 284,000 are microenterprises with less than five people; about 20,000 are micro-scale businesses that employ five to nine people, and about 270 are large companies with over 500 employees. The number of SMEs (10 to 249 employees) has increased continuously, amounting now to slightly under 20,000. The number of businesses with less than five employees has also continued to increase. The increase of jobs in Finland relies on start-up companies and microenterprises. From 2007 to 2010, less than 700 start-up companies created 51,000 new jobs. In addition, microenterprises (less than 10 employees) created nearly 50,000 new jobs, while in other companies the number of jobs decreased by nearly 100,000. Small enterprises and microenterprises (one to 99 people) are the business categories with the fastest growing number of personnel.

9 B2B service activities Manufacturing and mining Wholesale and retail trade Source: Statistics Finland 2013 Figure 4. Number of employees working at private sector enterprises % Source: Statistics Finland 2013 Figure 5. Percentage of employed population by enterprise personnel size class The number of businesses owned by immigrants has also increased in fields that require higher education, such as health care services and KIBS (Knowledge Intensive Business Services). In some fields, such as the hotel and catering business, as many as twenty per cent of all enterprises are owned by immigrants. Immigrants own about two to three per cent of all enterprises, that is, 6,000 8,000 enterprises altogether. Most of these are microenterprises.

10 10 The numbers of young (under 35 years of age) and older-age group entrepreneurs have increased. Retired employees are increasingly starting up businesses of their own. There are no detailed statistics available, but their number has reached several tens of thousands. In 2011, there were slightly over 46,000 young entrepreneurs and about 77,400 entrepreneurs over 55 years of age in Finland. Approximately two per cent of Finns in the 70 to 74 years age group were entrepreneurs in Recruitment problems are common at workplaces in spite of the economic recession. One third of workplaces experienced recruitment problems in 2011, and one workplace in ten had experienced an actual labour shortage. Labour availability problems were particularly common in Southern and Western Finland and in Lapland. The most important reason for the labour shortage was insufficient skills: the requirements for education, experience, special competence or multiple skills were not met. All branches of industry and business experienced such problems. In addition to safety-related problems, the unavailability of skilled employees hampers the efficiency of the work community and the capacity to cope with work. 2.4 The objects and objectives of work and changes in occupational structures Today, work life is now in a transition. Workplaces are forming networks and becoming increasingly complex ecosystems with a new decentralized production model. Most of the networks are built around digital technology. Self-service, peer production and the digitalization of production in manufacturing and services are increasing. The roles of consumers and producers of products or services are becoming mixed. This will result in extensive changes to the content and methods of work. In addition, entrepreneurial work will increase and it will become more common to have multiple workplaces and several jobs at the same time. The structures of service production and some manufacturing industries will undergo major changes. Automatization, digitalization and robotization will expand. This will unavoidably change the range of jobs available to people and shift tasks between roles, such as from the employee to the consumer. It has been anticipated that in the United States and similar Western economies, robotization will eliminate about half of the current jobs within the next decade or two. The order in which professions or jobs will disappear is very difficult to predict. Generally, however, the more routine and repetition a job involves, the more easily it can be broken down into pieces and programmed to be performed by machines.

11 11 Figure 6. Employed population by socioeconomic status Between 1995 and 2008, the proportion of middle-income professions among the employed workforce fell by 12 percentage points, while during the same period the proportion of high-income and lowincome professions increased by seven and three percentage points, respectively. The strongest reductions were seen in office jobs that involve a great deal of repetition, as well as industrial and manufacturing jobs. In addition, the proportion of physics, chemistry and technology expert jobs has decreased, as well as the proportion of electricians, electronics technicians and telecommunication technicians. The reduction in the first group is probably mainly due to the reduced volume of the forest industry. Some changes are due to expert work being transferred to special experts. However, the proportion of high-income (special) experts, such as lawyers, and low-income service workers, such as sales assistants, cleaners and hairdressers, increased: automatization of these jobs is too expensive or too difficult. The change in occupational structure is associated with polarization. Along with the considerable decrease of middle-income occupation categories, low-income and high-income jobs have increased. In the lower income categories, technical non-service jobs have been easier to automate than services. The increase in service jobs has caused an increase in the low-income category. As a consequence, the appreciation and pay of service jobs may increase in the near future, providing that clients are still ready to pay for human services for example in restaurants, hospitals and nursing. Traditionally, appreciation of these types of jobs has been low in society. The (socio-emotional) competence they require has not been recognized and captured by the educational system in the same way as cognitive and technical knowledge and skills. It is predicted that polarization development may slow down in the future, once people giving way to automation start pursuing careers that require creativity and social skills.

12 12 Figure 7. Number of employees by occupation The main trends of change detected include diversification, decentralization and individuals increased responsibility, whereas the collective mechanisms of protection are breaking down. This trend may cause polarization because some people cannot find their way in the more complicated work system as efficiently as others. However, the same trend also has a direct effect on job content and the occupational structure. The number of psychologists in Finland has doubled since the 1990s. Various work coaching-related qualifications have also increased. In addition to these, many other life coaches and personal trainers help people find their way through the labyrinth of continuous change and diversity. These professions are likely to increase considerably. In parallel, the safety and security business will probably continue to grow. We can anticipate that these developments will create new service jobs that require relatively high expertise. The automation of these professions is a slow process because such jobs are not necessarily considered suitable for robots. An alternative description could be that people need more story templates, plot structures and model episodes in order to be able to design their (job) autobiography. These models are increasingly efficiently passed on to us by the media, but people are still also taking their cues from communities close to them. Various life coaches can help people find suitable plots and chapters for their stories. However, work life-related research should also focus on the development of story templates. In addition, such influence through knowledge will continue to be important for the development of wellbeing at work and occupational health and safety. In the next few years, humankind will have to address many ethical and principled questions, such as which jobs will be performed by people in the future. As mentioned above, it now seems that jobs with emphasized social and emotional content are the strongest candidates for remaining in the hands of real people. They include moral and ethics-related jobs and, at least for the time being, the detection of various threatening problems and creative problem-solving. Jobs that require social

13 13 intelligence and creativity are expected to best survive the pressures of advanced technological solutions; thus, social and creativity-related skills will probably best guarantee employment in the future. Such skills and tasks are further emphasized by the fact that humankind is living under the threat of many different disasters. Jobs related to the prevention of catastrophes and the repair of damage after disasters will be important in the future. The development of new energy solutions, and issues related to climate change, etc., will employ more people in the future. Many specialist jobs, particularly in the public sector, have developed in this direction over recent decades, as a consequence of changes that have already taken place. Documentation and reporting work has increased. Previously, work that required a high level of expertise was not as strongly controlled as other jobs. However, various office routines and other control functions take an increasingly large share of specialists working hours, at the cost of productive work. This trend has partly developed as the result of technological solutions and personnel reductions in support functions. Specialists in particular are frustrated by work that they may have inherited from middle-income office clerks whose jobs no longer exist. Some office clerks work has been automated but some of it has been given to high-income employees. In this sense, the polarization of work and its disappearance from the middle may not have been quite as extensive as occupational structure statistics show. These themes will also be important in the future. The continuous growth of the control function at the cost of productive work will constitute a considerable risk in the years to come. In such circumstances, IT systems are not supporting work; instead, they are living a life of their own and functioning poorly. This, in turn, has certain consequences; not only in terms of productivity and innovation but also in terms of employee wellbeing. Employees often find control function-related tasks frustrating, and feel that their work has become less rewarding and less significant. There is not enough research data available on the nature, consequences, proportion and development of frustrating work; more is needed. As a backdrop to this trend is the strong emphasis on financial aspects in recent decades; this was not the case in the agricultural era and during the building of the welfare state. The Lean philosophy and principles of rationalisation have modified production chains and work in Finland, particularly since the recession in the 1990s. The productivity of individual components in the production chain has been emphasized at the cost of overall cost-effectiveness. A major focus has also been placed on the reduction of costs in order to survive in the market. Market logic has been applied to the public sector rather straightforwardly, without giving much thought to other values. If sustainability and more diverse goal-setting in business become more important factors, changes to work and production methods may take place at very short notice. Shifting the focus of production logic from the idea of aiming for maximum profit through production for third parties to the idea of doing something significant together would thoroughly change the objects and objectives of work. Taking into account the trend of decentralization and diversification, we can anticipate that such thinking will grow in importance, even though it may not end up as the only production logic in society. 2.5 Changing times, places and tools of work Rising trends that influence work life and new work include the collective creation of knowledge in the networks of work organizations and the social media; and the increase of ubiquitous computing, which blends in with the built environment.

14 14 Both trends provide many unused and undetected opportunities that can promote workplace and employee well-being. Competition to be a valued source of information and to provide correct knowledge through the most popular media will continue to tighten. The transfer of competent production of knowledge (such as OH&S-related knowledge) from officials to a group of friends interacting in the social media or to the control systems of machines and workplaces requires new operating methods and services from those who produce knowledge related to well-being at work. The provision and use of virtual support at the workplace requires improved competence. The times, places and tools of work are in transition. In addition to decentralization and diversification, increasing mobility is the major background trend. Traditional borders are crossed and modified, while the network-like and virtual nature of work increases. The crossed boundaries of work life may be temporal, geographic, social, cultural, historical, technical or political. The internet is the single main contributor to this development. It has changed our ways of working, buying, looking for information, communicating and meeting other people. In 2011, as many as two billion people had an internet connection, and this number is constantly growing. The internet wipes out some jobs and creates new ones, but most of all it is a new type of tool for work and mobility. The principal forms of motion are the physical motion of people, the physical motion of objects, motion that takes place in the imagination, virtual motion, and the motion of messages. Working hours have become more flexible. Work and leisure time are no longer regular or clearly separated from each other, as they used to be in industrial society. Working in or across different time zones makes it more difficult to ensure proper recovery from work. Multitasking has also been found stressful, and different interruptions to work involve a continuously increasing number of risk factors. However, time- and place-bound jobs have not disappeared. Many people are still bound to machines at work, as they were in the industrial salary-based society, in which the machine dictated the rhythm of work. Today, people often carry a machine with them that dictates the rhythm of their work, sometimes voluntarily. Although being bound to a machine or work instrument and its rhythm is thus different to the situation in the 1970s, the bond is not necessarily any less tight. However, the organization of occupational health and safety activities within a specific physical space occupied by relatively immobile machines was very different in nature to OH&S activities in a mobile work environment. One new risk factor is the almost infinite amount of information that is available as a work resource through computers. Organizations use various information systems to promote motion and mobility. On the other hand, many systems are used for control and management and the collection of information. In a mobile world, these systems involve risks of system overload and rigidity, that is, they prevent motion. This may result in the objective of work being buried under frustrating dabbling with systems, and may have a considerable impact on job satisfaction. A very traditional occupational health challenge from the industrial era, i.e. noise, has experienced a resurgence in the cost-efficient open-plan office. It has become a problem, especially for office employees and experts. In addition to cost-efficiency, open-plan offices are said to improve communication and the flow of information. However, in these offices, ageing employees in particular often have problems with impaired hearing and non-native speakers of a language suffer from background noise more than others. Completely new risks may be associated with another efficiency-orientated solution, the floating office. These are not yet very common, but people working in them have already been reported to

15 15 suffer from peculiar balance problems. Similar problems and symptoms may occur in people working in vehicles. New risks are also evolving from new production technologies and materials. New types of bacteria are becoming widely used in new ways; for example in energy production or as part of self-repairing construction materials. 3D printing with new materials is spreading to home production and small pop-up shop use without good ventilation systems. New chemicals show up every day and work life is changing to chemical life in almost every occupation. Furthermore, the effects of continuously increasing background radiation on people are not yet very well known. Remote work at home and so-called grey overtime create certain problems. For instance, employees, specialists in particular, choose to take home work that requires a great deal of concentration. This leads to the need to have a home office; office-related occupational health and safety challenges are moved to the home and part of the costs of office space falls on employees. Even though mobility has increased in many ways, people spend too much time immobile, particularly in a seated position. Physical inactivity leads to many risk factor chains and illnesses. It also increases the risk of accidents. Adults spend 80% of their time sitting down, particularly at work. Twenty-five per cent of Finns say that they spend most of their working day sitting down, even though electronic office furniture allowing more varied positions has become more common. 2.6 Employees and work communities living in transition Employee-related questions associated with new work include the time used for work and relations between work and other areas of life, such as family life and leisure time. Social networks and their efficiency as promoters of work or recovery from work are becoming important. Good self-discipline, which is already a familiar requirement for professional artists, is also becoming increasingly necessary in other fields. In the world of new work, employees are energized through their understanding of the effects of self-regulation and the related self-management of work on their wellbeing. In new work, traditional workplace operating models are not fully applicable, and new forms of support have not yet developed at workplaces. In a mobile world, work communities will not remain immobile or unchanged. Static, face-to-face work communities operating in the same space have become less common as mobile work has increased. The organization of work also often takes place in networks, crossing many interfaces, by people who interact in changing authority relationships. In addition, employees colleagues increasingly often include not only various entrepreneurs, self-employed people and members of cooperatives, but also consumers who use the results of the work, or those interested in it as a hobby. Increased self-service is another means for this. For instance, municipalities are now applying social and health care policies that emphasize the individual s own responsibility for their health and wellbeing. Supervisory and managerial work has become scattered into network structures that cross company borders. At individual workplaces, such responsibilities are included in the job descriptions of an increasing number of employees. In addition to administrative supervisors, workplaces now also have operational supervisors. Increasing project work has also emphasized the role of project managers as challengers of administrative supervisors. Increasingly, work is supervised by employees themselves, involving negotiations in various communities. Supervisory and managerial responsibilities are also in motion and not permanently associated with specific people. Work has become more personal, subjective and individual. Although individuals are members of an increasing number of work communities, they are in many ways more alone than before, because no

16 16 one else necessarily has a similar composition of communities. People feel an increasing need to manage their commitment to their communities and to negotiate and make agreements, organize and even self-supervise their work. In line with this, employees are increasingly organizing their work flexibly between themselves. Work is flexibly reorganized, rescheduled and replanned in accordance with changing situations and needs. Without buffers, the effects of various disturbances spread widely into network structures. Various communities of value and purpose, co-operatives, co-working premises and group enterprises are expected to become more common structures of work life. Research is needed that focuses on their quantity and characteristics and their significance for well-being at work. At the same time, the official administrative organizations of work are subject to continuous organizational changes. In Finland, organizational changes are relatively common compared with other EU-countries. Organizational changes are known to trigger many physical and mental disturbances in employees even years later. However, knowledge of these health risks or means for reducing them is not necessarily in active use at workplaces. In addition, very little is known of what happens between organizational changes and the onset of illnesses. We need more multidisciplinary studies on this subject which focus on people as a psycho-physico-social entity and are conducted from a follow-up or life cycle perspective. New, often virtual, communities cross not only organizational borders but also traditional borders of work and leisure. In work-related questions, solutions are increasingly sought in readily accessible virtual communities, in which contacts are not limited to the employer s networks or the employee s professional networks. People work in their leisure time and vice versa, either voluntarily or out of a sense of duty. Hobbies can become paid work and hobbyist communities can become work communities. The line between study and work is becoming increasingly blurred. Different areas are alternately emphasized in people s identities, and professional identities are no longer unambiguous. Robots that communicate with each other and human employees or develop new robots are no longer science fiction but reality. Nanotechnology has made it possible to build minuscule robots, whereas some robots are gigantic in size. Both appear increasingly often as people s colleagues. Work communities and processes that include both people and robots have not been studied much from the perspectives of well-being at work and occupational health and safety. Along with the changed organization of work, previously recognized stress-inducing bonds related to work and linkages to other people s work have changed. These used to be simple and located within the individual workplace or within relatively stable supplier client networks, but are now much more complex and even unique. The new bonds related to work can be called remote or multiple bonds. They are a source of new stress for employees. This stress is difficult to manage, because the reasons for the reorganization of one s own job can be located quite far in the chain of network links, and many of these linkages may be unique. Very little is known about such new bonds related to work. There is a need for research and discussion on how to reduce the strain and stress resulting from these new bonds. An employee s career is also formed in the framework of new mobile communities. Workplaces and work communities are transformed and changed. People belong to several work communities, both simultaneously and consecutively, and they work for different employees via different statuses. Entrepreneurship and, in a more extensive context, entrepreneurial operating methods in their various forms are increasing, and a growing number of people actually have multiple forms of employment instead of being employees or entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurial work is a rising trend in employment.

17 17 Even today, people in the mobile world and work life are living in multi-time with mobile jobs or multiple workplaces. Multiple employment is a phenomena that would require the support of new institutional structures and regulation procedures. From the perspectives of well-being at work and occupational health and safety, we urgently need more studies and practical applications that are based on research data. Many collective bonds are loosened when contacts between people become less permanent than before. This may be significant for social integration, but hardly any research data is available on this. Figure 8. Distribution of employees and entrepreneurs in The above polarization of the population into the well-off and the underprivileged has been considered a prominent social risk factor. Middle-class, medium-pay professions are already becoming scarce. Similarly, an alarming number of young people, particularly men, have considerable problems finding their place in the job market. Immigrants and young people who are poorly integrated into society and the job market constitute a distinct risk factor in many European countries today. Various forms of discrimination at work and in the job market also push people into an underprivileged position. The same phenomenon is fed by low-status and low-income jobs that emerge as a result of the development of polarization at workplaces.

18 18 Figure 9. Employment rate of year-olds by level of education Gender is still a polarization factor and a source of discrimination and inequality. The job market remains strongly segregated, even though feminization of work is often spoken of. Equal pay is not a reality and there are few women in leading positions. In addition, relatively little attention is paid to Finnish women s participation in the job market, which is high even by European standards. Even though the employment rate of men is still higher than that of women in Finland, there are more unemployed men than women, and the proportion of female employees has been higher than that of male employees for a long time. Women s educational level is now higher than that of men. Considering the transformation of work towards a more active, entrepreneurial attitude and orientation, the low number of female entrepreneurs is alarming. There are signs that suggest that the polarization of work into women s and men s jobs will also continue in new work life. Characteristically, mobile work in extensive collaborative networks and development projects is typical for men, while less mobile nursing and care jobs are typical for women. The equality of the sexes and gender-dependent well-being at work, and safety and health issues will continue to be important objects of attention. Furthermore, we should be able to better identify practices and structures that reflect new inequalities between the sexes. General malaise, various diffuse symptoms and subsequent illnesses and deterioration of functional capacity are increasingly common phenomena, provoked by people s worries. Psychological stress increases symptoms. Information on symptoms and their causes is endlessly available on the internet, and this increases the need to obtain explanations. The media and the internet continuously feed people with new reasons for worrying and provide information that increases their stress. All these factors together increase worry-induced illnesses. Women are overrepresented in this group. They have more symptoms than men and are more strained in work life from the perspective of the work/family balance and the emotional emphasis.

19 19 Figure 10. Changes in the number of sickness allowance periods Today, the use of various psychoactive drugs and sleeping pills is common, and mental problems lead to sick leave and the premature retirement of employees, even quite young ones. The effects of medication on work are poorly known. This is a considerable risk factor, because people are now more frequently than ever working under the influence of medication. We need studies that focus on the reasons for the dramatic increase in mental problems. They should analyse possible remedies for the situation, investigate risks and other phenomena related to the use of psychoactive drugs by employees, and consider possible alternatives to medication. New work life may include features that burden people as psycho-physico-social beings in ways that are poorly known, and this involves a risk. Such features include work in networks, excessive information loads and the stress factors associated with work on digital, internet-based platforms. Most of all, it is notable that people must very quickly learn how to manage chaos. Information ergonomics and cognitive ergonomics will remain central areas of research in the future.

20 20 Figure 11. Occupational accidents experienced by employees By the 2000s, the number of occupational accidents had fallen to half of what it was in the 1980s and has remained at the same level so far. This indicates successful prevention of accidents at Finnish workplaces and a reduction in jobs with a high risk of accidents as a result of the changed economic structure. Health can also be polarized. Differences in health between working people have always been significant in Finland, regardless of whether the comparison of groups is based on the educational level, professional status or income level. Within the EU, in recent decades only the former Soviet states of Eastern Europe have had greater health differences between people than Finland. The life expectancy of Finns has been developing favourably in all social groups for several decades. However, positive development has been stronger among highly educated professionals with high incomes. In 2007, the life expectancy of 35-year-old men in the highest income quintile was nearly 13 years higher than that of the lowest quintile. The difference had increased by more than five years during the preceding review period of twenty years. For women, the corresponding difference between income groups was seven years, and had increased by three. Health polarization is thus ongoing, and presents considerable challenges to the promotion of well-being at work. In recent years, Finland has received 25,000 to 30,000 immigrants each year. About four per cent of the Finnish population was born outside Finland, and about two thirds lived in the ten largest cities of Finland in The number of employees with immigrant backgrounds has increased dramatically in Finland. Inappropriate treatment of immigrants has caused much debate. Studies have revealed exploitation of immigrants in the restaurant, construction and agricultural businesses. Exploitation can refer to pay discrimination, poor working conditions, exclusion, threats and even violence or forced labour. Eventually, employees with a Finnish background will also suffer from such phenomena. Due to the late onset of extensive immigration to Finland, the age structure of immigrants is clearly more weighted towards the younger age groups than that of the original population. In the next couple of decades, the integration of these people into the labour market will be very important with regard to the favourable development of society. So far on average, immigrants have been less


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