New ‘Work Design for Well being’ framework provides viable instructions for bettering worker well being, well-being


The “Work Design for Well being” framework—developed by Harvard T.H. Chan Faculty of Public Well being and MIT Sloan Faculty of Administration researchers—maps tips on how to create work environments that foster employee well being and well-being.

The framework provides new and viable instructions for bettering employee well being and well-being whereas sustaining or enhancing worker engagement and productiveness, in keeping with the researchers. It elucidates why employers ought to shift their focus from providing wellness packages, which intention to vary particular person behaviors, to creating office circumstances that ease burdens and help worker well being and well-being.

The Work Design for Well being framework is printed in an article printed on-line within the American Journal of Public Well being on September 9, 2021. Moreover, the group has created a toolkit and web site to information employers by means of the method of assessing whether or not their office may gain advantage from the Work Design for Well being strategy, in addition to tips on how to implement it, and to elucidate the analysis underpinning the framework.

Many employers are searching for methods to help the well being and well-being of their workers—notably after a 12 months of excessive stress and weird challenges at work and within the wider world. We hope the work design framework conjures up extra organizations to think about the assorted ways in which work impacts workers’ well being and well-being.”

Erin L. Kelly, the Sloan Distinguished Professor of Work and Group Research at MIT Sloan and co-author of the paper

Lisa Berkman, Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Coverage and Epidemiology at Harvard Chan Faculty and principal investigator of the paper, defined, “This revolutionary Work Design for Well being framework offers finest practices to firms that may assist enhance worker well being and well-being whereas additionally sustaining their productiveness. The companion web site offers concrete, research-tested examples of sensible modifications that may enhance well being and well-being.”

For the previous a number of years, discussions about bettering employee well being have centered on well being promotion or wellness packages that target particular person behaviors, comparable to rising train, training mindfulness, or maintaining a healthy diet meals. Latest rigorous analysis by others signifies that these packages don’t considerably change these behaviors or practices to impression a variety of worker well being outcomes, suggesting {that a} new perspective on work circumstances and work setting is required. The Harvard Chan Faculty and MIT Sloan group emphasizes that these social circumstances are main determinants of poor well being and subsequently altering them results in prevention of sickness and incapacity within the first place.

Constructing on a long time of earlier work redesign analysis and frameworks, the group proposes a mannequin of labor redesign up to date for the realities of labor within the 21st century. This framework identifies three methods to reshape work circumstances that not solely enhance employee well-being however may profit the group:

  • Rising employees’ management over their schedules and giving them larger voice over work circumstances;
  • Moderating job calls for; and
  • Providing coaching and employer help aimed toward enhancing social relations at work.

The toolkit offers many examples and case research of how these methods have been examined and carried out in quite a lot of office settings. As an example, one research discovered that giving high-tech professionals extra management over their work schedules resulted in employees who have been extra productive, much less pressured, and fewer more likely to give up.

Along with being more practical at rising worker well-being, a redesign based mostly on the Work Design for Well being framework might save employers cash, in keeping with the researchers. Wellness packages now price on common greater than $700 per worker, whereas one intensive redesign initiative reviewed by the authors price roughly half that a lot.

“Office modifications throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have proven employers that offering employees with extra flexibility in the place, when, and the way they work may be helpful to workers and their organizations,” mentioned Meg Lovejoy, a co-author of the paper and analysis program director of the Work and Nicely-being Initiative on the Middle for Inhabitants and Growth Research at Harvard Chan Faculty. “The return to extra acquainted office practices and settings provides a key second for employers to think about how they’ll reshape the work setting to raised promote employee well-being, engagement, and retention. The Work Design for Well being strategy provides steering and evidence-based methods to employers on how they could accomplish this.”

Laura Kubzansky, a co-author of the paper and the Lee Kum Kee Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Harvard Chan Faculty, additional emphasizes the significance of office circumstances as key determinants of happiness and well-being—as essential as socioeconomic place, household and neighborhood ties, or different points of the social setting.


Journal reference:

Lovejoy, M., et al. (2021) Work Redesign for the twenty first Century: Promising Methods for Enhancing Employee Nicely-Being. American Journal of Public Well being.

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