Participatory Macroergonomics Study – Schools and Kindergartens as Shared Workplaces
Currently, many service organizations encounter challenges that set new requirements for management: individual employees face changes to worksites, job tasks, and work communities while there is a simultaneous decrease in recruitment and increase in the average age of employees. Both physical and psychosocial burdens caused by these factors can lower the work ability and productivity of the employees. The aim of this study was to find solutions for the management of these load factors in workplaces where stakeholders from different subdivisions inside the municipal organization work together. The concept of a shared workplace, which is common in industry, was contemplated to find successful ways to manage work ability and productivity. The case organization in this study was a municipal business unit providing meal and cleaning services to target workplaces, namely two kindergartens and four schools. The objective of the study was to find practical solutions for observed challenges related to work environment and practices at the target workplaces. Study materials were comprised of Occupational Safety and Health documents and statistics, interviews, and observations of work activities. Root cause analysis, by applying the 5*Why-methodology, was carried out to find ultimate causes for the work ability challenges. Practical solutions for the challenges were sought at participatory development sessions. Based on the results, a generalizable model for the management of load factors at shared workplaces in the public sector was proposed.
KeywordsParticipatory development Shared workplace Work ability
This study was funded by the Public Sector Pensions Institution in Finland.
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