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A pleasant work environment is good, of course. Work is more enjoyable and personnel are more satisfied and happier. But is it really profitable? Do investments in the work environment pay for themselves? Yes, they do – and more besides.
At this year’s SAN conference Paula Liukkonen, economist and researcher at Stockholm University, talked about how investments in the well-being of employees affects a company’s financial situation. In clear and concrete terms she showed how personnel investments pay back and how it is possible to calculate the costs of ill health with the use of simple methods.
One of Paula’s doctoral students was in the audience: Chalmers researcher and marine engineer Cecilia Österman, also co-opted member of SAN. Cecilia is working on a dissertation in which she is examining the financial effects of work environment measures at sea – a research project which we are really looking forward to seeing the results of!
It is important to make a link between the work environment and economics, not least in these days of layoffs and ships being laid up. When times get tough and investment is slow, there is a real risk of all the ”soft” issues being put on the back burner.
This was seen in the answers to the question of how the financial crisis affects the work environment at sea, which we put to some of the participants at the autumn SAN conference (see page 2). A good work environment needs strong arguments, and fortunately there are more and more of these.
Here’s hoping for a brighter 2010!
Linda Sundgren

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