Mental wellbeing management and productivity boosting in the workplace – Mad@Work

Work-related stress, burnout and poor recovery increase the number of sickness absences and the risk of falling ill, while also causing significant costs to employers. The project aims to improve employee well-being by offering employees and HR managers new kinds of solutions for the unobtrusive, long-term monitoring of well-being that takes privacy protection into account.

The Mad@Work project develops solutions that combine and interpret data collected from the environment, work equipment and wearable devices and transform this data into feedback that supports the employee’s mental health and performance at work.
Toimistoympäristössä oleva henkilö lukee papereita tietokone ja kirjoja taustalla.




The main objective of the consortium is to observe and mitigate work-related stress and burnout, and to prevent the development of mental health disorders by using solutions developed in the project. During the project, solutions are developed, tested and assessed in field experiments of various lengths.

Knowledge workers can work in various locations: at the office, at home or at a client’s premises. Getting a comprehensive picture of their stress and well-being requires information also from outside the office environment. This is achieved in the project "Stress and performance in location-independent office workers: a field study”, managed by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in collaboration with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The project has the following objectives:

  1. Develop predictive models for identifying stress, mental health state and recovery of location-independent employees using a variety of data sources.
  2. Study the effect of sleep on knowledge workers’ mental health state.
  3. Develop indicators of cognitive workload and performance.
  4. Examine the feasibility and acceptability of the developed stress identification system.

Data and methods

The studied knowledge workers participate in field measurements in their natural work environment over a period of five months. The collected data comprises:

  1. A background survey about work, workload, recovery and factors that affect these
  2. Information on the usage features of the computer, keyboard and mouse over a period of five months
  3. Several weekly assessments of stress, excitement and productivity over a period of four months
  4. A task switching task over six working weeks at most
  5. Diary estimates of working time, stress and recovery for a period of two weeks
  6. 72-hours heart rate variability data combined with salivary samples of cortisol, alpha-amylase and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate in the morning (2x) and evening
  7. A feedback survey and meeting

Results and impact

Identification of mental health symptoms and stress as early as possible would be beneficial in order to prevent the development of mental health disorders and human suffering more easily and cost-effectively. We create a framework for mitigating stress and supporting the mental health of location-independent knowledge workers.

Publications and outputs

Study group

Kristian Lukander

Teemu Paajanen

Sampsa Puttonen (University of Tampere and Finnish Institute of Occupational Health)

Mikael Sallinen

Päivi Vanttola (project manager)


Finnish members of the consortium include VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd that manages the consortium, Granlund Oy, Haltian Empathic Building Oy, Helvar Oy Ab, Hintsa Performance Oy, Nixu Oyj, TietoFinland Oy and UniqAir Oy.

Other members of the consortium are from Spain, South Korea, Austria and Portugal. 


Business Finland and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health

Take a look at the consortium website

Contact us!

Päivi Vanttola

Päivi Vanttola

paivi.vanttola [at]
+358 30 474 2018