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The world of work has always been marked by continuous or phased drastic changes. What is new with the development in the last thirty years, as compared to earlier times, is the significant change in velocity and the resulting instability of labour relations and requirements. Restructuring and change processes associated with them are a central part of today's workplace and put substantial demands on organisations and their employees.

During the past decade, Germany has developed in the same way as many European countries from a manufacturing based to a service-and knowledge-based economy. Globalisation, technological advances and demographic change represent social conditions and create challenges for policy makers as well as companies.

This raises the question of how restructuring processes are to be designed to enable them to be managed productively by companies and their employees.

The Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) in this area of activity aims to contribute by specific measures to safeguarding the employability of employees and to stabilizing the competitiveness of enterprises in the face of continuously changing requirements. The challenge to accompany restructuring with appropriate concepts is closely linked to the thematic focus of the work design as well as employee orientation, and therefore to the question of mental stress and demographics. In the conceptual treatment of the subject area, BAuA uses its strength in combining health and safety issues with development topics relevant to the world of work and thereby being able to address important issues at topic interfaces.