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Article

A Participatory Approach to Identify Key Areas for Sustainable Work Environment and Health in Employees with Flexible Work Arrangements

1
Department of Occupational Health Sciences and Psychology, University of Gävle, 80176 Gävle, Sweden
2
Human Work Science, Luleå University of Technology, 97187 Luleå, Sweden
3
Department of Occupational Health and Safety, LKAB, 98381 Gällivare, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Fred Zijlstra 
Sustainability 2021, 13(24), 13593; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132413593
Received: 16 November 2021 / Revised: 2 December 2021 / Accepted: 6 December 2021 / Published: 9 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Health, Well-Being and Sustainability)
Flexible work arrangements are common worldwide, but knowledge on how to achieve a sustainable work environment is sparse. The aim of this study was to use a participatory approach to identify concrete suggestions and key areas for improvement that were considered relevant, effective, and feasible for promoting good work environment and health at organizational, work group and individual level (O-G-I), among office employees with flexible work arrangements. Eight focus group interviews (including 45 employees) were conducted in a large Swedish government agency in 2017. By using a Tree diagram approach, employees made a total of 279 suggestions for improvements, which were sorted into O-G-I levels and mapped into 18 key areas. We found that 13 key areas addressed organizational level (e.g., improving leadership, policy, job demands, and work efficiency), two key areas addressed group level (create common rules of availability and activity-based working), and three key areas addressed individual level (e.g., individuals’ responsibility to clearly communicate their availability). The participatory process was effective in obtaining concrete suggestions and key areas in need of improvement, which may provide an action plan that can guide organizations in developing interventions to promote good work environment and health in flexible work. View Full-Text
Keywords: job autonomy; participative; work environment; health promotion; sustainable work job autonomy; participative; work environment; health promotion; sustainable work
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bjärntoft, S.; Hallman, D.M.; Zetterberg, C.; Larsson, J.; Edvinsson, J.; Jahncke, H. A Participatory Approach to Identify Key Areas for Sustainable Work Environment and Health in Employees with Flexible Work Arrangements. Sustainability 2021, 13, 13593. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132413593

AMA Style

Bjärntoft S, Hallman DM, Zetterberg C, Larsson J, Edvinsson J, Jahncke H. A Participatory Approach to Identify Key Areas for Sustainable Work Environment and Health in Employees with Flexible Work Arrangements. Sustainability. 2021; 13(24):13593. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132413593

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bjärntoft, Sofie, David M. Hallman, Camilla Zetterberg, Johan Larsson, Johanna Edvinsson, and Helena Jahncke. 2021. "A Participatory Approach to Identify Key Areas for Sustainable Work Environment and Health in Employees with Flexible Work Arrangements" Sustainability 13, no. 24: 13593. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132413593

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