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  • 1.
    Jackson, Jennie A.
    et al.
    Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Department of Occupational Health Science and Psychology, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Department of Occupational Health Science and Psychology, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
    Rydström, Klara
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Johansson, Kristina
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Protocol for an observational study of working conditions and musculoskeletal health in Swedish online retail warehousing from the perspective of sex/gender and place of birth2024In: PLOS ONE, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 19, no 2, article id e0297569Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    European and International sustainable development agendas aim to reduce inequalities in working conditions and work-related health, yet disparate occupational health outcomes are evident between both men and women and domestic- and foreign-born workers. In Sweden, major growth in online retail warehousing has increased occupational opportunities for foreign-born workers. The rapid change has left research lagging on working conditions, i.e., employment conditions, facility design, work organisation, physical and psychosocial work environment conditions, and their effects on worker health. Further, no known studies have considered patterns of inequality related to these factors. The overall aim of this study is to describe working conditions and musculoskeletal health in online retail warehousing, determine the extent to which differences exist related to sex/gender and place of birth (as a proxy for race/ethnicity), and examine factors at the organisational and individual levels to understand why any differences exist. Three online retail warehouses, each employing 50–150 operations workers performing receiving, order picking, order packing and dispatching tasks will be recruited. Warehouses will, to the extent possible, differ in their extent of digital technology use. Employment conditions, facility design (including digital tool use), work organisation, physical and psychosocial work environment conditions and worker health will be assessed by survey, interview and technical measurements. Analysis of quantitative data stratified by sex and place of birth will consider the extent to which inequalities exist. Focus group interviews with operations employees and in-depth interviews with managers, union and health and safety representatives will be conducted to assess how employee working conditions and musculoskeletal health are related to inequality regimes of sex/gender and/or race/ethnicity in organisational processes and practices in online retail warehousing. The study is pre-registered with the Open Science Framework. This study will describe working conditions and health in online retail warehouse workers and consider the extent to which patterns of inequality exist based on sex/gender and place of birth.

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  • 2.
    Johansson, Kristina
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Berglund, Leif
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Engqvist Persson, Marie
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Rydström, Klara
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    (O)möjligt arbetsmiljöarbete i detaljhandelns slimmade organisationer2022In: Arbetsmarknad & Arbetsliv, ISSN 1400-9692, E-ISSN 2002-343X, Vol. 28, no 3-4, p. 28-46Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Drawing on interviews with regional safety representatives, the article shows how work environment problems related to lean organizations conditions systematic work environment management in the retail sector. As limited resource creates the problem that need to be solved, and restains the possiblities of actions, suggest a catch 22 for the possiblities of promoting healthy workplaces in the retail trade.

  • 3.
    Johansson, Kristina
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Rydström, Klara
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Sardiello, Tiziana
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Bortom servicefronten: E-handelsarbetets platser och ojämlikhetsmönsterManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Rydström, Klara
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Binära konstruktioner av kön och arbete på e-handelslager2022In: Book of abstracts, Karlstad: Karlstads universitet , 2022Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    E-handeln utgör en växande del av handeln i stort (Rosenström et al. 2021) och bidrar sannolikt till att förändra både utformning av och uppfattningar om arbete inom handelssektorn. Butiksarbete är relativt välstuderat utifrån ett genusperspektiv; vi vet att könade processer och praktiker spelar en roll för hur det organiseras och upplevs (Johansson 2016; Johansson och Lundgren 2015; Pettinger 2005; Williams 2004). På liknande sett har studier visat på könade strukturer inom partihandeln och på andra typer av lager, bland annat genom föreställningar om att särskilda arbetsuppgifter är mer fysiskt krävande än andra och uppfattningar om att män skulle vara mer lämpade för dessa (Allison et al. 2018; Cockburn 1985; Collinson 1987; Gruchmann et al 2021; Lindeman & Boyer 2019; Loewen 2018). Den arbetsfokuserade genusforskningen inom e-handeln är mer begränsad (jfr Gutelius 2016; Loewen 2018), inte minst i en svensk kontext (jfr Rosenström 2016). Den här presentationen baseras på deltagande observationer på två e-handelslager och intervjuer med anställda genomförda under 2021. Med hjälp av empiriska exempel argumenterar jag för att arbetet på lagren formas i relation till binära idéer om kön, och visar på hur kvinnor konstrueras som den ideala arbetaren för plock- och packuppgifter. Härigenom syftar presentationen till att visa på genusforskningens möjligheter att bidra med kritisk kunskap om e-handeln, som på sikt kan stärka anställdas arbetssituation och villkor.

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  • 5.
    Rydström, Klara
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Humans and technology. MENSEN - forum för menstruation, Sweden.
    Degendering Menstruation: Insights from a Swedish Context2019Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Menstruation as phenomena is commonly linked to womanhood and menstruating is generally perceived as an experience of women. The presentation ”Degendering Menstruation: Insights from a Swedish Context” challenges this through its focus on trans people’s experiences with menstruation. Drawing on material from qualitative interviews, I will provide an overview of menstrual experiences among Swedish trans people. Emphasis will be on the necessity, for us as menstrual scholars and activists, to acknowledge the multiplicity of menstrual experiences there are – not only between menstruators with different gender identities, but likewise within the group of trans people. In the second part of the presentation, I will demonstrate that intra-actions of gender norms and menstrual norms materialize the idea of cis menstruators as the normative menstruator. As a result, trans menstruators appear as the Other. More specifically, public bathrooms, the design of menstrual products, menstrual-related healthcare and menstrual activism are areas that will be problematized as contributing to such processes of Othering in Sweden. The aim of the presentation is to share insights and knowledges that might be applicable to similar projects in geographical contexts other than the Swedish and, as such, contribute to further degendering of menstruation as phenomena.

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  • 6.
    Rydström, Klara
    MENSEN—forum för menstruation.
    Degendering Menstruation: Making Trans Menstruators Matter2020In: The Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies / [ed] Chris Bobel, Inga T. Winkler, Breanne Fahs, Katie Ann Hasson, Elizabeth Arveda Kissling, Tomi-Ann Roberts, Palgrave Macmillan, 2020, p. 945-959Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Rydström works within a post-constructionist framework to critically explore the nature of menstruation, which many perceive to be a strictly female bodily function despite many scholars’ recognition that menstruators are of various gender identities. In challenging menstruation as a cisnormative phenomenon, the author explores various menstrual experiences among trans people and argues that cis and trans menstruators come to matter differently. More specifically, menstrual activism, public bathrooms, menstrual products, and the healthcare sector are problematized as areas wherein trans menstruators are Othered. Finally, Rydström calls for a recognition of the multiplicity of menstrual experiences as they exist and a degendering of menstruation as phenomena.

  • 7.
    Rydström, Klara
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Good girls? Ideal Workers in Online Retail WarehousingManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Online retailing challenges the traditional male coding of warehousing. Based upon an ethnographic study at two Swedish online retail warehouses, this article seeks to understand why certain warehouses are numerically dominated by women. Employees express that men are less focused and more careless and easily bored than women, and hence not desirable for the goods-handling work. The warehouses extend to hard-working women driven by the shame of doing wrong, which reflect their orientation of bodies in the direction of enhancing production and profit. Workers attribute the positive social atmosphere at the warehouses to the numerical dominance of women and the small size of the workplaces. At the one hand, the constructed sameness of (women) workers through hard work and jargon contribute to a collective identity that strengthened them. At the other hand, the binary gendering of work and workers also contribute to making the warehouses into (potentially excluding) ‘straight spaces’ (Ahmed, 2006).

  • 8.
    Rydström, Klara
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    ”Inte alla män” men ”duktiga flickor”: könade arbetsförhållanden på e-handelslager2022In: Book of abstracts FALF 2022: Framtidens arbete-arbetets framtid, Luleå University of Technology, 2022, p. 59-60Conference paper (Refereed)
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  • 9.
    Rydström, Klara
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    'There's Nothing Strange': Racialization in Online Retail WarehousingManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 10.
    Rydström, Klara
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Unpacking Online Retailing: The Organization of Warehouse Work and Inequality2024Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This dissertation studies the organization of warehouse work and inequality in Swedish online retailing. Online retailing relocates the work of providing service to individual customers, usually performed by frontline workers in retail stores, to warehouses backstage. In line with the on-demand characteristics of online retail warehousing, where a fast and smooth goods handling process becomes a competitive advantage for the companies, the manual warehouse work has been shown to be associated with routinization, and a high work tempo and monotony for workers performing it. Little is known about these issues in Sweden. Union reports and news media have shown that online retail warehousing involves a generally poor work environment and low wages. Research-based findings from other geographical contexts explain that the workforce mainly consists of those who cannot find a job elsewhere and whose subordinated position limits their possibilities for resistance against the working conditions. Herein, inequality appears. Inequality is understood in the dissertation as a consequence of the practices that organize the work, which tend to be shaped by gendered and racialized processes. The inequality as such often, but not always, take the form of class relations (Acker 2006).

     

    Based on an ethnographic study of five online retail warehouses in Sweden – Homeware, Electronic, Recreational, Pharmacy, and Grocery – the dissertation aims to explore and understand how practices and processes to organize online retail warehouse work relate to inequality, and it aims to contribute with knowledge in this regard. As part of this, the dissertation also aims to make visible the work, workplaces, and workers that online retail warehousing brings about. The methods and materials include interviews with managers, workers, and union and health and safety representatives (n=30); focus groups with workers and pharmacists (n=15 groups, a total of 49 participants); and ethnographic observations (a total of eleven weeks). The dissertation also comprises material from a systematic literature review of 21 articles focused on warehouse working conditions and inequality, and employment data from Statistics Sweden divided into occupations groupings. My ambitions with the dissertation have been empirical – in how I have worked to contribute with knowledge about online retail warehousing, in particular in with regards to the Swedish context – and theoretical – in how I have strived to contribute with perspectives on how we can analytically approach inequality.

     

    The results show that the warehouse work was organized in relation to the ‘on-demand’ element of online retailing, wherein flexibility becomes a necessity for online retail warehouses in the strive to fulfil the (over time fluctuating levels of) customer orders on time. While Homeware, Electronic, Recreational, Pharmacy, and Grocery all strived for profit by making warehouse workers provide a fast and satisfactory service for customers, the differences between them with regards to how the warehouse work was organized meant that there were variations in the shape and the degree of the inequality (cf. Acker 2006). This is exemplified in the dissertation with the practices and processes of the division of work tasks, the monitoring of workers’ performance through productivity data, and a Swedish language policy. In addition to inequality expressed in gendered and racialized class relations between managers and warehouses workers, and other groups of employees, the dissertation also found inequality produced by class and shaped by gender and race/ethnicity between groups of warehouse workers. The variations of the inequality seemed to be associated with the differences in the size and spatiality of the online retail warehouses, the size of the workforce, and the extent of technology applied in the goods handling process. Furthermore, the dissertation suggests that there are three analytical points of entry to from where to approach inequality – the workplace level, the field of work level and the worker level – which together help us understand its manifoldness, how the severity of inequality varies and the lived and embodied realities of it.

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  • 11.
    Rydström, Klara
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Jackson, Jennie
    Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Department of Occupational Health Sciences and Psychology, University of Gävle, 801 76 Gävle, Sweden.
    Johansson, Kristina
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Department of Occupational Health Sciences and Psychology, University of Gävle, 801 76 Gävle, Sweden.
    A Systematic Review of Work Organization, Work Environment, and Employment Conditions in Warehousing in Relation to Gender and Race/Ethnicity2023In: Annals of Work Exposures and Health, ISSN 2398-7308, Vol. 67, no 4, p. 430-447Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives

    Studies in the goods supply chain in areas outside of warehousing show evidence of gender and racial/ethnic inequalities in working conditions (i.e. in work organization, work environment, and employment conditions). This review aimed to identify, summarize, and discuss research focused on inequality in warehousing and its effects on warehouse working conditions. In the review, racial/ethnic inequality includes inequality related to country of birth and (im)migration status.

    Methods

    We performed a systematic search in the Scopus and Web of Science databases to identify warehouse studies that addressed working conditions and (in)equality at a workplace level. Screening of records was performed using the Rayyan systematic review tool. Risk of bias was assessed according to established methods and checklists.

    Results

    Database searches yielded 4910 articles. After title-abstract-keyword and full-text screenings, 21 articles were included. Results showed inequality based on gender and race/ethnicity in both work organization (different tasks were performed by different groups of employees), work environment conditions (physical and psychosocial aspects differed), and employment conditions (disparate employment types and incomes between groups of employees). Health differences, as a possible result of unequal working conditions, were evident between different racial/ethnic groups of employees. A hierarchy that included both gender and race/ethnicity was found, with (im)migrant and racialized women positioned at the bottom.

    Conclusions

    We found evidence that gender and race/ethnicity influenced work organization, work environment conditions, and employment conditions. Evidence was found for an intersection between gender and race/ethnicity. To improve working conditions, and subsequently occupational health, we encourage researchers to simultaneously consider gender and race/ethnicity factors at work, and to consider both why inequality is present and how it impacts working conditions in future studies of warehousing, particularly in online retailing.

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  • 12.
    Rydström, Klara
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Johansson, Kristina
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Vad händer med ojämlikhetsmönstren när handelsarbetet förflyttas från butiks- till lagermiljö?2021In: Konferensbok FALF 14–16 juni 2021, Mälardalens högskola , 2021, p. 114-115Conference paper (Other academic)
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  • 13.
    Rydström, Klara
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Johansson, Kristina
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Sardiello, Tiziana
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Inequality in the warehouse? A mixed-methods study of working conditions in Swedish online retailing2023Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 14.
    Rydström, Klara
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Johansson, Kristina
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Sardiello, Tiziana
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Jackson, Jennie
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    On Precarity in Online Retail WarehousingManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 15.
    Rydström, Klara
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Johansson, Kristina
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Sardiello, Tiziana
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
    Jackson, Jennie
    University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
    Zetterberg, Camilla
    University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
    Engqvist, Marie
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts, Humans and Technology.
    Ojämlikhet på e-handelns lager?: Några kvalitativa resultat från ett pågående tvärvetenskapligt forskningsprojekt 2023In: Program och abstrakt FALF 2023: Arbetets gränser, 2023, p. 80-81Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    För snart 20 år sedan publicerades artikeln ’Inequality in the Toy Store’ (Williams 2004) med resultat från en studie i detaljhandelns butiker. Williams (2004) konstaterade att arbetsplatsernas hierarkier var könade och rasifierade, med synliga (o)jämlikhetsmönster organiseringen av arbete och arbetare (jfr Van Oort, 2019). Sedan dess har handelsarbetets gränser förskjutits – det direkta servicearbete som görs av handelsanställda i butik har kompletterats med indirekt servicearbete utfört av e-handelsanställda på lager. Studier i lagermiljö har visar på en könad och rasifierad ojämlikhet mellan anställda, både vad gäller anställningsvillkor, arbetsmiljö och vilken typ av arbetsuppgifter anställda tilldelas (Rydström m.fl., 2023). I en svensk kontext har Handelsanställdas förbund belyst att repetitiva och monotona arbetsmoment och stor personalomsättning påverkar e-handelsanställdas hälsa negativt, och kvinnor rapporterar en generellt sämre hälsa än män (Rosenström 2016). 

    Presentationen bygger på en tvärvetenskaplig studie (2020–2023) om (o)jämlikhet, arbetsvillkor och arbetsmiljö i e-handeln. Under hösten 2022 undersöktes tre e-handelslager genom tekniska mätningar av arbetsbelastningen, enkätstudier och fokusgruppsintervjuer med anställda, enskilda intervjuer med chefer och fackliga representanter samt arbetsplatsbesök och observationer. Presentationen fokuserar primärt på materialet från de kvalitativa delarna av studien, vilket kodats och analyserats med hjälp av Acker’s (2006) teori om ojämlikhetsregimer. 

    Preliminära resultat visar på både likheter och skillnader mellan de tre e-handelslagrens (o)jämlikhetsmönster och anställdas upplevelser av sin arbetssituation. E-handelslagren skiljer sig åt i storlek och typen av varor som hanteras, med olika nivåer av automation i plock- och packarbetet. Gemensamt är att ojämlikhetsregimer – det vill säga, könade och rasifierade hierarkiska klassrelationer (Acker 2006) – återfinns på e-handelsföretagen och reproducerar ojämlika arbetsvillkor för kvinnor och män, svenskfödda och utrikesfödda som arbetar på lagergolvet. 

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    Falf 2023 Book of abstracts
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