Starting to work with social ill-health

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In the Work Environment Authority’s booklet The organisational and social work environment – important pieces in the good work environment puzzle, a number of issues are raised which can help work with the social work environment. Here are some of the key points:

  • Is there already knowledge about preventing and managing unhealthy workloads and discrimination – and if so, who has it?
  • How can we ensure that everyone who needs such knowledge actually gets it?
  • What options do managers and supervisors have when something goes wrong?
  • What are your targets within the near future, and how can you achieve them? Are they anchored with everybody, including senior management?
  • What are the demands at work and what resources are there? Are these two factors balanced?
  • Is there any time for recovery?
  • Are there channels for detecting and reporting signals of unhealthy workloads?
  • In cases of social ill-health, is it clear who can help and support and what powers they have?
  • What forums are there for dialogues?
  • Are there health risks due to the scheduling of working hours? If this is the case, can they be avoided?
  • Does everyone know what discrimination is? It is clearly unacceptable?
  • Do we know what is at the root of discrimination?
  • Do we do anything about it?
  • Does everyone know who to contact about discrimination?
  • Do these people know what to do and where to find information?
  • Is it clear where victims can get help as quickly as possible?

Signs that can indicate there are problems in the organisational and social work environment

  • Sick leave, sick people at work, high staff turnover.
  • Accidents, incidents and other deviations.
  • Overtime work. Taking work home, working through breaks or lunches.
  • Low quality or late delivery of work.
  • High pace of work. Signals that it is difficult to keep up with or manage work.
  • Conflicts and problems when collaborating.
  • Lack of motivation, depression, irritation.
  • Aches, insomnia, fatigue, problems with stomach and intestines
  • Poor concentration, poor memory, problems getting started and taking initiative.

Source: Work Environment Authority

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