Campus and Community

Working@Técnico – a project that promotes the health and the psychological well-being of workers

A psychosocial risk assessment will soon begin at Técnico. The participation of all workers is very important.

Psychosocial risks have been one of the great contemporary challenges and are directly related to stress, violence, harassment or intimidation at the workplace. These problems end up being barriers – often difficult to overcome – that contribute to unhealthy work environments. The impact of psychosocial risks on institutions is incalculable and lead to lower levels of productivity, creativity and a worrying absenteeism rate. Técnico created the Working@Técnico project that aims to provide a healthy workplace environment for its employees. Lídia Silva and Ana Marques, both Técnico employees, are part of the Committee for Psychosocial Risk Assessment (CARP) and explained us the work that is being developed.

“This project started in 2017. The president of Técnico, professor Arlindo Oliveira, decided to carry out a psychosocial risk assessment at Técnico and CARP was created with that purpose”, says Lídia Silva. “Psychosocial risks are becoming increasingly important when compared to other risks at work”, she adds. A collaboration protocol was signed between Técnico and the Portuguese Order of Psychologists (OPP). CARP’s technical team had the opportunity to attend training sessions and to participate in initiatives on psychosocial risk prevention. Now, one the most important stages of Working@Técnico is about to start: the assessment of the reality at Técnico, which will be done through an employee survey.

This anonymous survey will be open from 4th to 22nd November. Only the OPP will have access to the survey and will then send a report to Técnico. “We must not choose an answer randomly. This survey must be filled out with some caution” warns Lídia Silva. “The survey is validated internationally, the questions are standard and have been translated and adapted for the Portuguese population”, explains Ana Marques. The questionnaire has 76 questions that aim to assess the work pace, the emotional demands, the social community at work and the offensive behaviours, among many other criteria. “People must answer individually and in conscience”, says Lídia Silva. The involvement of all employees is very important, so that the results can be as much accurate as possible. On 15th November, from 11:00 to 12:00, all services and offices will be closed so that everyone can participate in this survey.

A primary prevention action will be carried out according to the results obtained. According to Lídia Silva, “some primary prevention measures are already defined in order to respond to the identified situations”, such as the creation of a culture book – code of conduct and best practices; training actions on time and stress management, etc. ; or hiring an occupational psychologist. “These psychosocial risks can profoundly affect our work performance, the institution and our health”, recalls Ana Marques.