Areas for development in work life

Finnish work life requires purposeful and comprehensive development. The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health aims to ensure that work provides people with well-being, the productivity of work increases, and work participation continues to increase as work life changes. Learn more about the themes we are currently influencing.
kuvituskuva: työelämää pitää kehittää yksilön, työpaikan ja yhteiskunnan tasolla

Ensuring the well-being and productivity of work life

Various crises and megatrends have had a major effect on the direction in which work life is heading. The current focus points of work life development that promote bringing occupational well-being and the productivity of work to the next level include, for example:

  • Ensuring adequate interaction and sense of community in remote and hybrid work.
  • Ensuring resilience and strategic reform capacity in an era of various crises.
  • Having an adequate level of trust between management and personnel is an important competitive edge for any organization.
  • It is important that development measures are implemented programmatically both on a societal level and in workplaces.

Learn more about the work life situation: The largest shift in work life in decades is in progress | The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (

henkilökuva: Antti Koivula
“In terms of society’s security of supply and level of trust, it is important that we have resilient, healthy workplaces that are able to face changes and identify any opportunities that arise from crises,” says Director General Antti Koivula.

Shortening sickness absences through co-operation between social welfare and healthcare operators

The co-operation between occupational health care and public health care and the measure to support work ability are enhanced through the TYÖOTE operational model. Establishing the operational model as part of the social welfare and health care services for working-age people is a way of increasing productivity and alleviating the labour shortage. 

  • The overall entity of social welfare and health care services for working-age people must be co-ordinated within the wellbeing services counties.
  • The ability to work and get employed must be the central element of the social welfare and health care services for working-age people.
  • The role that occupational health care has as a supporter of work ability must be clarified.
  • The co-operation between occupational health care and public health care must be deepened through the TYÖOTE operational model.

More information about the operational model: Responsible work ability support – TYÖOTE | Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (

The TYÖOTE operational model benefits many kinds of patient groups. Including basic health care and rehabilitation in the model would be an important step forward and it could create significant benefits, both for employees and society. – says Chief Medical Officer Pauliina Kangas

Strengthening the resources that support mental health

Employers and occupational health care must have better facilities for supporting the work ability of the mind before we can build long-lasting work careers. Many of the structural changes in society are reflected in the mental health of employees, especially in young adults’ capacity to cope at work.

Central objects for development in occupational well-being:

  • Good working conditions, such as fair supervisory work and well-organized work processes, are connected to improved mental health in workplaces. 
  • Remote work has highlighted the significance that communality has for occupational well-being.
  • For individuals, work is an important factor that provides them with well-being, and work should be flexible according to the work ability of the individual.  

The Mental Health Support ToolkitMind and work | Mental Health Support Toolkit (

henkilökuva: Eva Helaskoski
“With regard to the availability of workforce, it is essential that as many people of working age as possible can take part in work life,” says Chief Medical Officer and Director Eva Helaskoski.

Reacting to the change in work with preventive occupational health care

As the work life changes, it is important that the work ability of employees is supported comprehensively so that as many as possible of the working-age population can participate in the work life. Supporting the ability to work is the core duty of occupational health care.

  • The supporting of work ability requires both effective, preventive measures and timely medical care services that aim to restore the work ability without any unnecessary delays.  
  • Preventive occupational health care must have tools to meet the work ability challenges: improving mental health at work, managing cognitive stress and improving working conditions in hybrid work.
  • For the welfare state, it is important that occupational health care is developed on the basis of research and in co-operation with work life. 

Alleviating the labour shortage with tools of work ability management

In the coming years, we must find the tools with which to ensure the availability of workforce. Labour shortage makes work stressful and slows investments down. Solving the labour shortage in the social welfare and health care sector is crucial. 

  • Supporting the competence and work ability of the current workforce by investing in work ability management and training. 
  • Management that supports the diversity of work communities and which enables the employment of people able to perform particular duties, people with partial work ability, and immigrants. 
  • Enhancing of the work-related attraction and retaining factors in the social welfare and health care workplaces. These include joint development of work, enabling of recovery and decreasing of ethical strain.

Learn more: Ensuring the availability of staff and the attractiveness of the sector in elderly care services (Hyvä veto) | Finnish Institute of Occupational Health ( (in Finnish)

It is important that occupational well-being is included as an aspect to consider when examining practical work arrangements or the management and development of care work. – says Research Professor Jaana Laitinen

Controlling the impacts of the climate and environment crisis in workplaces

Workplaces play a key role in the controlling of climate change. Implementing the green transition in workplaces requires developing competence. It is also important to remember that the impacts that new circular economy functions have on the health of employees are not completely known. Research information and new kinds of operational models are needed:

  • The prevention of occupational health risks and the facilitation of the green transition. This also protects the security of supply and reliability of work life.
  • Methods that enable the safe use of new, low-emission materials and production processes in companies.
  • Instructing work communities on safe working practices in the changing conditions and extreme weather events.

More information about the topic: Climate change and work – systematic collection of data on the impact of climate change on work life | Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (

 Majority of employees support the climate actions of their workplace | Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (

Contact information

Sinimaaria Ranki

Sinimaaria Ranki

sinimaaria.ranki [at]
+358 30 474 3325