Category: Future of Work and OSH

The Role of Work Arrangements in the Future of Work

  The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Future of Work Initiative hosted a webinar to address the role of work arrangements in the future of work. Among the changes anticipated in the Future of Work is an increasing prevalence of nonstandard work arrangements, such as contingent, platform-based, seasonal, on-call, or other “nonstandard” Read More >

Posted on by Rene Pana-Cryan, PhD, Tapas Ray, PhD, Edward Yelin, PhD, and Molly Leshner, MPHLeave a comment

A Reflection on World Futures Day 2024: NIOSH Efforts to Help Build a Better Tomorrow

  Future Day was first celebrated worldwide on March 1, 2012 as a forward-looking reflection on all the possibilities the future holds for humanity.1 Just two years later, the global think tank Millennium Project helped expand the unofficial holiday into what is now recognized as World Futures Day.2 World Futures Day is structured as an Read More >

Posted on by Jessica MK Streit, MS, PhD, CHES®Leave a comment

Preparing for the Future: NIOSH Applications of Strategic Foresight

  Change is all around us, and it is happening more intensely and more rapidly than ever before. NIOSH recognizes that many of the social, technological, economic, environmental, and political changes we experience can impact the design of work and the lives of working people.1 We also understand the benefit of proactively preparing for future Read More >

Posted on by Jessica MK Streit, MS, PhD, CHES® and Sarah A Felknor, MS, DrPH3 Comments

The Role of Skills in the Future of Work

  To survive and thrive in a fast-changing world, workers need to keep updating their skills to improve their employment chances, advance their careers, and meet the shifting needs of employers.1 Employers typically look for workers with proficiency in the technical and cognitive skills needed to do the job, but they also look for more Read More >

Posted on by Lauren Menger-Ogle, PhD; Molly Leshner, MPH; and Brian BissonLeave a comment

Economic Security and Worker Well-being

  The future of work incorporates ongoing and future changes to the workplace, work, and workforce. Understanding the adaptations in how work is being performed and the associated consequences on worker safety, health, and well-being is essential and requires sustained attention from occupational safety and health researchers and their partners. To meet the challenges and Read More >

Posted on by Tapas Ray, PhD, and Sarika Abbi, MPA1 Comment

Promoting Partnerships to Explore the Impacts of Technological Change on Work and Well-being

Technology has a longstanding record of impacting work, the workplace, and the workforce. Automation, or finding new ways for tasks to be completed by machines and computers, has been a common industry practice since the 1970s [1]. Historically, the increased automation of routine tasks also increased demand for highly trained and educated people to focus Read More >

Posted on by Sarah A Felknor, MS, DrPH; Jessica MK Streit, MS, PhD, CHES®; and Nicole T Edwards, MSLeave a comment

What Is Employment Quality? How Can We Study It for Occupational Health Equity?

Full-time, permanent employment that offers benefits and protection has been considered the standard work arrangement, but certain jobs are moving away from this standard.  Precarious employment, for example, is characterized by insecurity, short-term contracts, and limited access to workers’ rights and protection [NIOSH Strategic Plan, 2022]. These aspects of work represent employment quality (EQ). Employment Read More >

Posted on by Kaori Fujishiro, PhD1 Comment

Algorithms and the Future of Work

An algorithm is a series of precise, step-by-step instructions used by a machine to perform a mathematical operation.[1] The use of algorithm-enabled systems and devices will bring many benefits to occupational safety and health but, as with many new technologies, there are also risks to workers. A new commentary in the American Journal of Industrial Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, MDLeave a comment

Precarious Work, Job Stress, and Health-related Quality of Life

Quality of work is a central issue in understanding worker well-being [1]. Work is changing due to several factors including technology and demographics and so is the way work is organized and designed. These changes have led to non-standard work arrangements, like gig work, resulting in an increased prevalence of precarious work [2]. While there Read More >

Posted on by Anasua Bhattacharya, PhD, and Tapas Ray, PhD3 Comments

Strategies for Advancing Occupational Safety and Health: Examining Health Inequities

How can we improve occupational safety and health research to better address health inequities? The United States has a long history of occupational safety and health (OSH) research, policy, and intervention. Despite this, long-standing occupational health inequities continue, with underserved workers experiencing higher rates of injury and illness. Occupational Health Equity Program researchers at the Read More >

Posted on by Jacqueline Sivén, PhD, MA, MPH; Laura Syron, PhD, MPH; Andrea Steege, PhD, MPH; Pietra Check, MPH; Michael Flynn, MALeave a comment

The Role of Robotics in the Future of Work

  NIOSH established the Future of Work Initiative in response to rapid changes in the workplace, work, and workforce. The Initiative seeks to prompt research and practical approaches to address future occupational safety and health concerns. Increased use and rapid technologic advances in robotics fits within the sphere of changes in how work will increasingly Read More >

Posted on by Dawn N. Castillo, MPH; Jacob L. Carr, PhD; W. Allen Robison, PhD3 Comments

Work Flexibility and Worker Well-being: Evidence from the United States

  Work flexibility can have positive and negative consequences for workers and their families, employers, and society overall. [1,2] For workers, it is increasingly recognized as an essential determinant of their well-being. Workers seek flexibility to address their personal and family needs, including childcare, eldercare, schooling, and healthcare. Flexibility in terms of work location and Read More >

Posted on by Tapas K Ray, PhD, and Regina Pana-Cryan, PhD6 Comments

The Role of Technological Job Displacement in the Future of Work

The future of work holds many possibilities for technological advancements, which may alter the number, quality, and stability of jobs; create new jobs that vary in skill and wage level; and fundamentally change entire industries. Such developments, including digitalization, robotics, artificial intelligence, and advanced computing, have the potential to lead to automation of unsafe tasks Read More >

Posted on by Chia-Chia Chang, MPH, MBA; Sara L. Tamers, PhD, MPH; and Naomi Swanson, PhD1 Comment

Exploring the Future of Worker Health and Safety in the Post-Pandemic World

COVID-19 has had a profound effect on work. The short-term consequences of the pandemic, including new safety requirements at work, mandatory remote work arrangements, reduced working hours, and even unplanned furloughs or lost jobs, were unexpected and severe for many workers around the world [1-3]. Though the economy is now showing signs of recovery, experts Read More >

Posted on by Sarah A Felknor, MS, DrPH; Jessica MK Streit, MS, PhD, CHES®; and Nicole T Edwards, MS3 Comments

Advanced Sensor Technologies and the Future of Work

  Measuring worker exposure to hazardous substances is a key step to reducing risk and protecting workers. Sensors used in the workplace provide exposure data to inform prevention measures. Newer sensor technologies have the potential to greatly accelerate advances in occupational exposure science. A new commentary, Advanced Sensor Technologies and the Future of Work, in Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, MD; Vladimir Murashov, PhD; Emanuele Cauda, PhD; and John Snawder, PhD, DABT3 Comments

The Role of Demographics in the Future of Work

  The future of work continues to be shaped by ongoing changes in the workplace, work, and workforce. Shifting workforce demographics will present both opportunities and challenges for occupational safety and health (OSH). A central challenge will be ensuring the equitable distribution of work-related benefits and risks that accompany these transformations. To meet this challenge, Read More >

Posted on by Laura Syron, PhD, MPH; Marie-Anne S. Rosemberg, PhD, MN, RN, FAAOHN; Michael A Flynn, MA; Jacqueline Sivén, PhD, MA, MPH; Andrea Steege, PhD, MPH; Sara L. Tamers, PhD, MPH4 Comments

Bringing Strategic Foresight to OSH

How do we effectively plan for the future of occupational safety and health (OSH) when numerous social, technological, economic, environmental, and political trends are influencing work, the workplace, and the workforce? The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and others in the OSH field are working to ensure we are ready to address Read More >

Posted on by Jessica MK Streit, PhD, CHES®; Sarah A Felknor, MS, DrPH; Nicole T Edwards, MS; and John Howard, MDLeave a comment

The Role of Artificial Intelligence in the Future of Work

As discussed in a previous NIOSH Science Blog, artificial intelligence (AI) is in the process of transforming almost all aspects of society. Whether using an application to determine the best route to drive, receiving recommendations from Netflix on what to watch, or using face detection to logon to a personal smartphone, the use of AI Read More >

Posted on by Jay Vietas, PhD, CIH, CSP6 Comments

Envisioning the Future of Construction: Challenges and Opportunities for Occupational Safety and Health

Introduction Today’s construction industry is quite different than what existed just a few decades ago. These days, it is much less common to see workers hauling around rolls of hand drawn blueprints, punching numbers into printing calculators, or fiddling with slide rules. Records and plans are now created and stored digitally; workers use new, more Read More >

Posted on by Melissa Edmondson, MS, CIH, CPH, and Scott Earnest, PhD, PE, CSP5 Comments

The Role of Organizational Design in the Future of Work

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted our society and economy. Every day, employers and workers find themselves encountering unforeseen challenges, finding novel ways of working, and adapting to a “new normal.” In a time when much is unknown, one thing is clear: the future of work is already here. As it unfolds, the future of Read More >

Posted on by Sara L. Tamers, PhD, MPH; Jessica M.K. Streit, PhD, CHES®; Naomi Swanson, PhD; and Leslie Hammer, PhD6 Comments