EUWIN Bulletin February 2024

Editorial by Peter Totterdill

EUWIN’s first Bulletin of 2024 contains several insights into how workplace innovation is embedding itself within research, policymaking and practice – not just in Europe but in Canada and beyond. And the year ahead promises to be full of opportunities for shared learning and collaboration – just take a look at the Events section at the end of this Bulletin and the Call for Papers for EUWIN’s October Conference in Donostia-San Sebastián.

It’s hard to believe that the Hi-Res project – the first attempt to conceptualise workplace innovation in Europe – was commissioned by the EU nearly a quarter of a century ago. The findings of the 2002 report still resonate with companies, policymakers and social partners today, but more importantly it began a movement which changed thinking about the future of work and organisations across Europe and the world. And EUWIN is proud to have played a leading role in that movement since 2013. You can read more about it here.

Of course things continue to move on, and the concept of workplace innovation now lies at the heart of Industry 5.0, a key policy driver for the European Commission. ‘Human-Centricity’ in the workplace is one of the three pillars of Industry 5.0 along with Sustainability and Resilience, drawing heavily on the vast body of research and practice associated with workplace innovation.

Whilst many researchers, policymakers and companies focus on digitalisation, EUWIN shows that technology is not the right starting point. We need to start with what we already know – in short, with the actionable, evidence-based practices that lead to high performing, human-centric organisations. The question is then, “how can digital technologies enhance worker skills and autonomy, self-managed teams, delegated decision-making, flatter organisations, employee-driven innovation, employee voice, and so on?” EUWIN partners are engaged in exciting programmes of work to address this critical question, including the EU Horizon BRIDGES 5.0 project.

Given all this, we think it’s timely to start this Bulletin with a short review of workplace innovation and an assessment of its future by our old friends Richard Ennals and Frank Pot. Elsewhere you’ll find articles on monotonous workcybersecurity and mining technologies, all from a workplace innovation perspective. Plus there’s news of two brilliant new EU-funded projects – BroadVoice (on trade union involvement in workplace innovation) and SONATA (on empowering employees to improve their workplaces through novel adaptive architectural solutions).

It’s an exciting time for the workplace innovation movement and we’d love to hear your news, challenges and opportunities. We also welcome blogs, articles, case studies, presentations and much more – just get in touch with your ideas.

Let’s keep the conversation going!


In this bulletin: