Down to Business

Thanks to digitalization, the world is growing together. Work is changing enormously. Who are the big international players and what does New Work and Digitalization mean for the individual employee?

The big companies of this world are drivers for the global economy. The global world provides opportunities for each individual. Photo: Fotolia - fotomek

The big companies of this world are the driving force behind the global economy. The global world provides opportunities for each individual. Photo: Fotolia – fotomek

Three Questions for Dr. Karin Müller

Dr. Karin Müller, Head of People and Health DEKRA Automobil. Photo: Thomas Küppers

Dr. Karin Müller, Head of People and Health DEKRA Automobil. Photo: Thomas Küppers

What consequences do new work concepts and digitalization have on the health of workers?

Müller: These new work concepts present both an opportunity and a risk. They present an opportunity because more flexible management of working hours makes it possible to live a more self-determined life and allows parents to balance work and family life. The new concepts also present a risk, in that they require employees to have a healthy level of self-organization. Otherwise, workers are in danger of being constantly preoccupied with work, having too few breaks, and leading an on-the-whole more unhealthy life. Remember, health begins with correct nutrition. Other important factors include sufficient sleep and regular physical activity.

What are German companies doing to prevent psychological illness among their employees?

Müller: Every company is obligated to protect its employees from hazards in the work environment. Accordingly, it is legally mandated that all workplaces perform risk assessments. These assessments must encompass all types of risk, including psychological. In practice, however, only around half of German businesses perform psychological risk assessments. It tends to be that the smaller the business, the more likely it is that psychological risks in the workplace have not been evaluated, and accordingly, no appropriate countermeasures implemented. On a positive note, there are more and more businesses that have begun offering consultations with occupational psychologists. During these sessions, employees are able to confidentially discuss both private and work-related matters with the psychologist.

Why do so many companies neglect psychological risk assessments? Is the cost and effort too high for small firms?

Müller: Often, the problem can be traced back to a lack of information within these companies – many feel unprepared to tackle the issue. They can, however, call on experts to address the issue. Small businesses are among those that stand to gain the most from improved employee health and motivation. Using an innovative online process, DEKRA offers a psychological risk assessment that doesn’t break the bank. Of course, risk assessments are not expensive in the scheme of things, especially when compared to employee sickness, low motivation and high staff turnover, all of which are possible results of unchecked psychological stress.

Who are the main global players in terms of turnover and headcount, and what does this mean for the individual? Scroll through the graphics.

Productivity versus Headcount. Source: Bain Marco Trends Group Analysis Retirement Age. Source: OECD Digital Abilities. Source: Eurostat The World Economy. Source: visualcapitalist.com The World's 10 Largest Business by Income. Source: Fortune The Ten Most Powerfull Economies. Source: visualcapitalist.com

Related articles
 
Magazine Topics
 
Newsletter