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What is good work design?

The landscape of health and wellbeing in the workplace is changing. Ticking the boxes on a safety and compliance checklist and abiding workplace laws (while still very important to the success of any business) is not the only factor. Employers now recognise that creating a safe design and productive workplace is also about keeping their staff happy and engaged.

According to Safe Work Australia, the term “good work” refers to an environment where the hazards and risks are eliminated or reduced so far as reasonably possible. “Good work design” on the other hand, refers to where the work design optimises employee performance, job satisfaction and productivity.

What defines good work design?

There are three considerations of good work design and it all begins at the earliest opportunity, during the planning and conceptual phases of creating a job or workspace environment. Understanding effective work design can transform your workplace and benefit everyone involved – from the workers to the stakeholders, to the clients and the business itself.

The work itself:

  • How is the work performed? This should factor in the psychical, mental and emotional demands of the tasks involved in the individual job, and help you have a clear understanding of the type of person capable of performing those tasks
  • How long does each task take, and what is the frequency and complexity of that task?
  • What is the context and systems of work?

Assessing the physical working environment:

  • What will the workplace/worker require in terms of plant, equipment, materials and substances to complete the task?
  • Factor in the specific vehicles, buildings and structures that are ideal workplaces

The wellbeing of the workers

  • Consider the physical, emotional and mental capacities and needs of the workers

The ten principles of good work design

  1. The concept gives the highest level of protection for staff and employees as far as is reasonably possible
  2. It enhances health and wellbeing for all
  3. Good work design boosts business success and overall productivity
  4. It addresses the physical, biomechanical, cognitive and psychosocial characteristics of the work itself, in partnership with the needs and capabilities of the people (whether management or staff) involved
  5. Going through the process will define the business needs, context and work environment needed for success
  6. Good work design is not just applied to the workers but the supply chain and operational lifecycle too
  7. Good work design engages decision-makers and leaders within a business to strive to be better
  8. Its goal is to actively involve the people who execute the work, including those who are part of the supply chain and other networks to ensure open lines of communication for the best outcomes
  9. Good work design sets out to identify hazards, assess and control risks. This is to be continually monitored and improved upon.
  10. Good work design encourages all involved to learn from experts, evidence and experience

How does poor work design affect workplaces?

Most Australian’s work up to 40 hours a week – sometimes more! If work isn’t designed and planned in a way that encourages engagement, safety and performance, it will make for a very long, unsafe and demoralising work experience, and in turn, will affect both the employees and the overall business output. The good work design principles are there to support duty holder exceed their WHS strategy and laws and help achieve better business practice for all.

The Drake Groups commitment to good work design

At The Drake Group, we’re renowned for making light work of heavy loads through our robust trailers. However, our dedication to quality and our customers doesn’t mean we compromise the health and safety of our amazing team. Everyone who is a part of The Drake Group family, whether they help in the manufacture and design of our heavy haulage trailers or assist in our administrative duties, is fully health and safety trained and works within the guidelines of good work design and the relevant WHS regulations.

To see what a Drake Group Trailer can do for your business and its safety practices, get in touch with us today.

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