Future Work Design

Meet the Brains Behind the Project: Jennifer Webster

By 5th January 2023 No Comments

There are many fantastic brains behind the Future Work Design project, which will be showcased in coming blogs.

Jennifer is a chartered psychologist who sits on the advisory panel for the DLUCH project. The national advisory panel acts as a sense checker, engaging in conversations with stakeholders to provide additional perspectives and offer alternative approaches. This is useful to the project to get an understanding of what the real concerns and issues are.

Jennifer works in a group of psychologists and human factor specialists and values opportunities to partner with universities and institutions to dive deeper into topics of interest.

The advisory board can provide ideas and suggestions to the development team based on their own experiences and expertise in industry – acting as an insight group. Their experience of applying strategies across different sectors, what they have learnt and how it could help inform the project team’s thinking are valuable to the development of the tool.

Jennifer is an advocate for employee and employer work-related stress risk conversations. HSE promotes a proactive approach to managing work-related stress and, her team at HSE has investigated how to encourage employees and managers to talk to one another more so issues can be identified before they become a problem.

The practicalities of the FWD tool interests Jennifer as she finds it fascinating to see how it is developed in an efficient manner by different people and different institutions. It is also part of her wider learning as HSE continues to develop official tools.

Interestingly, Jennifer comments:

“For the past 10 years, work-related stress has remained at a constantly high level, but since the pandemic, it’s increased further. Looking at the literature and our own experience working with industry, we know that, on average across GB, organisations need to focus on preventing stress happening in the first place, rather than tackling the effects it has on the workforce.”

Jennifer believes that work-related stress requires investment by organisations in the same way they might invest in training or recruitment; they need to open up those conversations to try and bring those numbers down.

Jennifer comments on the tool:

“That’s the beauty of the tool, it takes hybrid work into consideration when addressing the stress risk prevention conversations”


Jennifer’s long-term vision for the tool is that it can be used by other sectors and transferred with ease. Launching within councils proves that the tool can work in multidisciplinary, complex workforces.

Everyone here at FWD is excited to see the results from this innovative tool and the ways it can support people in councils in our area and beyond!

Jennifer provides some real insight to the project. We’re excited to see what comes next for the Future Work Design risk assessment tool. To find out more about Phases 1 & 2, visit https://humanfactors.hull.ac.uk/futureworkdesign/.