Work: working healthily, safely and productively

The world of work is changing rapidly, due to globalisation, ageing populations, and technological developments. If the Netherlands wants to remain competitive, it will need productive workers. How can we help people to go on working healthily, safely and productively? TNO wants to boost the adaptability of individuals and organisations, to help them better prepare for changes in labour status.

Our society is changing fast. “While the continual emergence of new technologies poses challenges, it also offers opportunities and we are keen to seize them. We are developing innovations – both societal and technological in nature – that help to maintain the health of our working population, while enabling organisations to continually innovate and improve”, says Seth van den Bossche, the Work & Health programme manager. Our approach involves three main lines: ‘sustainable work’ (how can we help people to remain healthier – and to work more productively and efficiently – for longer?), ‘future of work’ (how can we ensure that people and organisations are well prepared for the labour market and for future job opportunities?) and ‘inclusive work’ (how can we help more people find lasting and meaningful jobs?). 

Monitoring Work & Employment

TNO also monitors changes in Dutch labour status and their impact on the productivity, innovative capacity, health, and sustainable employability of workers in the Netherlands. We collect information from employers, employees, and self-employed people, largely in cooperation with Statistics Netherlands. We also link all kinds of data sources together. This enables us to identify trends in the field of labour. We use this approach to support the three main lines of research mentioned above and to help government bodies, social partners, trade associations, social security institutions, and companies develop and evaluate appropriate policy measures .

Adaptive employers and employees

Some jobs are disappearing, but new ones are taking their place. The rapid growth in digitisation risks creating a mismatch between the competences and skills required of workers and what they can actually offer in this regard. This comes at a time when we need as many people as possible in lasting work, for longer than ever before. These changes require a working population that is capable of adapting, and that can learn to take charge. If they are to achieve this, they will need the assistance of learning and adaptive organisations. With this in mind, our projects are designed to bring technology, people and organisations together. We are working on methods to keep staff motivated, deployable and productive in an increasingly flexible labour market. This approach also helps us to boost organisations’ innovation potential. 

TNO is keen to harness its extensive knowledge of safety, vitality and craftsmanship to develop innovations – together with partners – in the form of testing grounds, living labs, and much more besides. Would you like to know more about our activities in the field of labour or perhaps cooperate with us? Read the details below or get in touch with us.

Drs. Seth van den Bossche

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