The Humans Factors and Ergonomic Society of Australia (HFESA) has produced a podcast featuring a conversation between Elise Crawford BA, BOHS, GCTerEd, PhD (Human Factors), and Sharon Todd, the President of HFESA. The podcasts can be accessed via the HFESA website or the HFE Hub website.
The Importance of Work Design
Elise Crawford emphasises the significance of work design and its effects on workers, particularly in the face of technological advancements. Her research explores how new technologies impact safety-critical operators and the need for effective work design to address these changes. Involving workers in the design process helps organizations avoid misconceptions and resistance to change. Elise advocates for optimizing work conditions to maintain workers’ interest and well-being, even in the context of the fourth industrial revolution, which often focuses on automation.
Differentiating Good Work Design and Work Health and Safety Initiatives
Elise explains the distinction between good work design and work health and safety initiatives. National initiatives like safe design, prevention through design, and safety in design provide essential guidelines for safety in the workplace but primarily focus on physiological and safety needs. Good work design goes beyond these basic needs, considering higher-level factors such as well-being, self-esteem, and a sense of belonging. By valuing workers as assets and caring for their overall well-being, organisations can create sustainable work environments that promote positive outcomes.
The Rise of Precarious Work and the Need for Collaboration
Elise highlights the growing concern of precarious work, particularly in developing countries. Precarious workers, including gig economy workers and those without job security, face challenges related to income stability and future planning. Elise encourages a shift in mindset from simply ensuring safety to promoting collaboration and trust between employers and workers. By questioning the nature of the worker-organization relationship, we can create work environments that benefit both parties and foster a sense of trust.
Overall, Elise Crawford’s insights shed light on the role of human factors professionals in good work design. Their expertise spans various domains, focusing on optimizing human interactions within complex systems. Prioritizing effective work design, involving workers in the process, and considering higher-level needs can help create sustainable and inclusive work environments. This approach is crucial as the workforce evolves, technological advancements continue, and the challenges of precarious work persist. The aim is to create a future of work that benefits both businesses and workers alike.
Why Tune In?
The podcast is relevant to professionals in work design, occupational health, and organisational management, as well as workers, policymakers, and those interested in the future of work. Listening to the podcast provides insights into work design amidst technological advancements. Elise Crawford’s expertise highlights the importance of optimising work conditions beyond safety, fostering collaboration, and addressing the rise of precarious work. By tuning in, listeners can understand the impact of technology on workers, the distinction between good work design and safety initiatives, and gain insights into creating sustainable work environments. The podcast offers actionable knowledge to enhance work settings and navigate the changing landscape of work.
This page can be shared on social media platforms and forums (e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook). It would also be beneficial to share the podcast with individuals or organisations interested in the topics discussed in the podcast, such as those involved in human factors and ergonomics, and user centred design. When sharing, please use the hashtags below: #HFESA #HFES #FutureOfWork #WorkDesign #OccupationalHealth #OrganisationalManagement #WorkplaceWellbeing #TechnologyAndWork #Collaboration #PrecariousWork #WorkEnvironment #WorkplaceInsights #WorkplaceOptimization #PodcastRecommendation #Humanfactors #Ergonomics #Podcast
Prepared by Michael Dubos