Work environment

Work environment is everything that affects how we feel when at work. It is, for example, about the conditions of the premises where we work, how we talk to each other and also our digital systems as well as how our work is organised.


Photo: Malin Grönborg

The work environment is divided into three areas

Work environment can be about many different things. Usually, the work environment is divided into three different areas: physical work environment, digital work environment and organisational and social work environment (OSA).

Physical work environment

Physical work environment regards things such as the premises, ventilation, light, sound and aids in a workplace. Having a good physical work environment can, for example, be to have a desk that can be raised and lowered, good ventilation in the premises or good lighting in one's office.

Digital work environment

Digital work environment regards the parts of the work that take place in digital systems. This applies to computers, IT programs, connectivity and how to manage the boundary between work and leisure when it comes to being accessible digitally outside of working hours.

Organisational and social work environment (OSA)

The organisational work environment regards how tasks are distributed, management and controlled, communication, requirements, resources, responsibility, and how decisions are made.

The social work environment is about how we interact and talk to each other in the workplace.

A workplace where there is a good organisational and social work environment can mean, for example, that the employees have a reasonable workload with time for recovery between work shifts, a good tone of conversation between colleagues and that you feel that you have support from your boss and your colleagues.

We are each other's work environment

The ultimate responsibility for the work environment always rests with the employer. However, it is important that everyone at a workplace is involved in creating a good environment. A good work environment is one of the most important parts for us to feel good at our workplace and for our department/unit to function and thrive. Therefore, management, employees and students at Umeå University all have a responsibility to participate in developing and constantly improving our work environment – we are each other's work environment.

Read more about how work environment work is organised at your workplace

Collaboration on work environment

The employer must cooperate on the work environment with workplace representatives, work environment representatives and with employees at the workplace. The forms for cooperation in work environment matters are regulated in the Cooperation Agreement (Local collective agreement for cooperation and development).

Read more about trade union cooperation

Occupational injury and incident

If you are injured at work or experience that an event is risky it is important that you notify your manager. There are also some other things to consider.

Hate crime, threat and violence

If you have been a victim of hate, threat or violence, you can get support.

Psychological harassment, sexual harassment or bullying

If things occur at work that make you feel unsafe or are treated badly, it is important that you get the help you need.

Therese Holmgren