Designing the operations of the workplace smartly by:
- planning who does what and how
- reducing overlapping work, meaning the same work done by several employees (unless appropriate)
- improving flow of information within the workplace
- ensuring that personal, team, and organisational level goals are clearly set and communicated
- advancing leadership
- considering which matters each employee should focus on so as to reach their best possible performance
Favouring a fast-forward (clockwise) rotating shift pattern that involves only 1−3 consecutive night shifts, and avoiding short (< 11 hours) shift intervals such as a morning shift following an evening shift. These arrangements promote recovery between work shifts and good work-flow among shift workers.
Involving employees in designing their working environments (digital, social, and physical) and the rules that apply in them
In creating a functional environment for activity-based working*, careful design process in which employees are involved is essential. The design process should be founded on the goals and operations of the organisation, and on the demands and behaviours of employees. Examples of various types of activity-based working arrangements are: open work space, assigned workstations for employees that need permanent and personally adjusted workstations, unassigned workstations for employees that do not need fixed workstations, soundproof phone booths, silent areas for concentration, areas for group work, official meeting rooms, and areas for unofficial collaboration and socialising.
Compiling rules on how to use various areas in an activity-based working environment* together with employees. Monitoring the feasibility of the rules and how well they are followed, and adjusting them when needed. Informing all employees about the rules via multiple channels, such as face-to-face, via email, and by setting the rules visible in an easily noticeable place in each working area. Different types of working areas can also be indicated with colours and/or signs so that everyone knows how to use and behave in a particular area.
Providing employees the possibility for:
- flexible working hours
- remote work
- adapting work schedules, for example, by working nine-hour days Monday through Friday and only four hours on Fridays
- adjusting personal workload to meet physical and mental resources
- reduced working hours when life situation so requires
Saving time and increasing productivity by arranging meetings only when necessary, by setting clear objectives for each meeting, and by inviting only employees that need to be involved
An ergonomics professional together with immediate superiors visit employees’ personal workstations with certain intervals to check that employees have appropriate tools and sufficient knowhow for working ergonomically, and that their workload and work tasks fit their work ability. Possible problems are solved with tailored solutions. Superiors are recommended to be involved in these check- ups so that they become aware of how each employee works, and develop skills to plan work tasks smartly.
Promoting job mobility by rotating work tasks or by providing employees an opportunity to gain work experience in another job for a period of 3–6 months with the possibility to return to old job
*In activity-based working no employee ‘owns’ or has an assigned workstation. Rather, the workspace provides employees with a variety of activity areas designated to specific work tasks, such as learning, focusing, collaborating, formal meetings, and socialising. The aim is to give the personnel an opportunity to choose a place in the workspace where it is most suitable for them to complete their work tasks.