Project: Research direct

Project Details


The logistics sector is witnessing a wave of new technologies (e.g. automated picking tools, collaborative robots, advanced worker and warehouse management systems) affecting jobs and employees. New technologies can simplify many work-related tasks and make them more convenient for workers. Also, productivity and efficiency can increase with the use of new technology. However, technologies that make work more efficient are not necessarily better from an ethical and psychological point of view as they can sometimes negatively impact the quality of work. Technology can make work more complex and stressful due to information overload, partly by creating the feeling of always being ‘on’, tracked, and monitored. Besides, it can create new (and unforeseen) problems – for example, an exoskeleton may support the back, but wearing it on one’s body for a few hours it may be uncomfortable because of its weight. So, technologies can have a wide range of impacts on workers, and raise moral issues such as whether employees have sufficient autonomy and privacy, as well as questions regarding how safe and healthy their work is after the introduction of new technologies. Since new technology has its inherent uncertainties and unintended consequences it is necessary to pay attention to these concerns in order to ensure sustainable employability of employees.
The aim of this research project is to establish which ethical and psychosocial aspects play a role in how new technologies impact (the jobs of) employees of organisations in the logistics sector, so that these aspects can be taken into account in technology (pre-)implementation processes. Ultimately, this will serve the public interest by creating more meaningful jobs in logistics, and facilitating a healthy, motivated, and well-performing workforce.

Layman's description

Designing sustainable workplaces for warehouse employees working with new technologies

Key findings

Funding program: This research is part of the Sharehouse project, co-financed and supported by the Dutch Research Council NWO, Dutch Ministry of I&W, Taskforce for Applied Research SIA, the Dutch Topsector Logistics and TKI DinalogProjectpartners:TU/e, Human Performance Management Group (Industrial Engineering) Fontys Hogeschool Techniek en LogistiekErasmus Universiteit RotterdamTNOHogeschol WindesheimHogeschool RotterdamDobbe TransportNippon ExpressPrologisTroffeeSendus Logistiek21CC EducationBMWTGemeente RotterdamVANANDEL Social and Sustainable InnovationStichting LogisticaDexionVanderlandeProceedixLogwearProboticsSTC GroupKennisDC LogistiekGilde OpleidingenTU/e staff:Ziagul Hosseini, MSc, PhD CandidateProf. dr. Pascale Le BlancProf. dr. Evangelia DemeroutiDr. Sven Nyholm (Utrecht University)
Effective start/end date1/02/2031/01/24


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