New forms of work

One consequence of the spread of digitalization and networking is a corresponding increase in the numbers of people working at VDU workplaces. At the same time, the traditional office workplace is slowly losing its relevance: digitalization means that work is no longer tied to a particular location, but can be performed almost anywhere, such as at home or during travel. VDU workplaces are also becoming more complex: simultaneous working with multiple programs and screen forms, and on multiple monitors, is now the order of the day, and raises questions concerning ergonomics and new forms of stress. Another source of stress for workers is the physical inactivity accompanying the growing number of VDU workplaces. Innovative ideas for promoting movement at the workplace are needed in order to prevent adverse impacts of this phenomenon upon the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems.

Physical inactivity at office workplaces
Now that machines have taken over many strenuous tasks previously performed manually, workers in modern occupations face the opposite problem – that of physical inactivity. This particularly affects people who spend much of their working day in front of a monitor. Dynamic office concepts for promoting movement can assist in preventing the associated negative impact upon health.

Office workstations with multiple screens
The increasing digitalization and networking of office work and a shift to paperless offices are resulting in a growing proportion of work being conducted at VDU workstations. The required screen real estate is also growing, since work often requires several programs or screen forms to be used simultaneously. The impact of these developments upon the performance of workers and the stress to which they are exposed is a subject for research.

Mobile IT-supported work
Mobility has also become something expected of workers, for example in the form of mobile work. Work is considered mobile when at least 20% of a job is not performed at a fixed workplace. Mobile work is closely linked to the use of information and communications technology (ICT), which presents particular challenges for occupational safety and health in this context.


Dr Britta Weber

Administrative unit Innovative workdesign

Tel: +49 30 13001-3030
Fax: +49 30 13001-3030

Dr Christoph Schiefer

Administrative unit Innovative workdesign

Tel: +49 30 13001-3040
Fax: +49 30 13001-38001