Headlines: January 21st, 2000

Organisations in the public and private sectors are responding to new challenges by adopting new ways of working which are believed to create more stress for workers. Research carried out by Corporate Solutions Consulting and funded by the Health and Safety Executive has shown that for two new work styles this is not so.Researchers examined the effect of “hot desking” where employees do not have a fixed workstation at the workplace, but use which ever desk is available and learning organisations where employees are encouraged to learn continually, adapt and meet challenges in creative ways. Control groups were monitored to allow comparisons to be made.

There were no significant differences in stress levels between the groups. The learning organisations provided significantly more positive responses that did their control group. The report also points out that the introduction of new working practices can give organisations an opportunity to manage work related stress in a positive way because established ways of thinking are challenged.

The HSE will use the research findings in developing its policy on work related stress.