Healthy, safe, and productive work

Work and health

The world of work is changing rapidly due to globalisation, an aging population, and technology. A high-quality labour force is essential if the Netherlands wants to remain competitive. How do we ensure that employees remain healthy, safe, and productive? We want to strengthen the adaptability of people and organisations, so that they’re better able to cope with the changing labour situation.

Innovations for healthy employees and learning organisations

Our society is changing rapidly. ‘New technologies offer both challenges and opportunities, and we want to make the most of them. We’re therefore developing social and technological innovations that contribute to a healthy workforce, and learning organisations that continuously renew themselves,’ says Work & Health programme manager Seth van den Bossche.

We do this within three main lines of research:

  • Inclusive work: how do we ensure that more people find – and remain in – sustainable and meaningful employment?
  • Sustainable work: how can people of all ages stay healthy and productive at work for longer?
  • Future of work: how do we ensure that people and organisations are well prepared for the labour market and work of the future?

Innovations for a future-proof way of working

Discover our innovative projects in the areas of inclusive work, sustainable work, and the future of work

Labour monitor

In addition, we monitor changes in the Dutch labour situation. And the consequences of these changes for the productivity, innovative strength, health, and sustainable employability of the working population in the Netherlands. We collect information from employers, the self-employed, and employees, largely in collaboration with Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

We also link together all kinds of data sources in order to identify labour trends. In this way, we support the three research lines mentioned above and help public authorities, social partners, industry associations, social security institutions, and companies develop and evaluate policy measures.

Adaptive employers and employees

Certain jobs are disappearing, but new ones are emerging in their place. The danger of rapidly increasing digitalisation is that there will be a mismatch between the competences and skills offered by employees and those that are required. At the same time, as many people as possible must remain sustainably employed and work for longer. These changes require a workforce that can adapt, with employees who can manage their own careers.

Learning and adaptive organisations are needed to help employees do this. For this reason, our projects bring together technology, the individual, and the organisation. We’re working on methods to keep employees motivated, employable, and productive in an increasingly flexible labour market. This also increases the innovation potential of organisations.

We’re deploying our broad knowledge of safety, health, and professional skills to develop innovations together with partners. For example, in the form of testing grounds or ‘living labs’ (an innovative solution in a real-life setting).

Want to know more about what we’re doing in the area of work? Or would you like to collaborate with us? You can read more below or get in touch with us.

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Stress and sensing


At TNO, we do a great deal of research on the sustainable employability of staff at various organisations. Discover our tools, innovations, and methods.

Smart organisations


Technological developments will change work. This is why we are researching into how work will change in the future. Find out how we do this.



Matching based on skills rather than diplomas is the future. And can help us move towards a flexible labour market with equal opportunities.

Safe chemical innovations


In some occupations, employees need to deal with hazardous substances, such as chemicals, asbestos and welding fumes.