Better organisation of work, based on skill, trust, quality and a high level of worker involvement, can make a valuable contribution to the competitiveness of European firms. It can also improve the quality of working life and the employability of the workforce.
Technological progress and changes in market conditions mean that firms have to react more flexibly to changes in demand as well as supply conditions. At the same time, technological developments have enabled firms to introduce new and more flexible ways of organising production processes. Telework is one example of this.
Europe needs to foster high skills and promote high quality in the workplace. New, more flexible forms of work organisation are generally not widespread in Europe. Individual good practices have been developed, but support is needed to transform them into innovative policies. The new organisation of work affects all workplaces - public and private sectors, small firms and large. It is a key role of management, with the proper involvement of workers, to develop the most suitable and effective methods. Partnership in change is the key to success. In the search for better organisation of work, more attention must be given to the gender perspective, including the reconciliation of working and family life.
Modernising work organisation will in many cases mean adapting the existing legal, regulatory and contractual framework. It must support rather than hinder desirable new developments. And it must ensure a good balance between flexibility and security for both workers and enterprises.
Background documents and studies on this issue are available.