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

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

The framework gives new and viable instructions for bettering employee well being and well-being whereas sustaining or enhancing worker engagement and productiveness, in line with the researchers. It elucidates why employers ought to shift their focus from providing wellness packages, which purpose to alter particular person behaviors, to creating office situations 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 crew has created a toolkit and web site to information employers via the method of assessing whether or not their office may benefit from the Work Design for Well being method, in addition to the right way to implement it, and to clarify the analysis underpinning the framework.

Many employers are on the lookout for methods to help the well being and well-being of their staff—notably after a 12 months of excessive stress and strange challenges at work and within the wider world. We hope the work design framework conjures up extra organizations to think about the varied ways in which work impacts staff’ 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 College and principal investigator of the paper, defined, “This modern Work Design for Well being framework supplies greatest practices to corporations that may assist enhance worker well being and well-being whereas additionally sustaining their productiveness. The companion web site supplies 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 targeted on well being promotion or wellness packages that target particular person behaviors, resembling growing train, working towards mindfulness, or maintaining a healthy diet meals. Current 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 situations and work atmosphere is required. The Harvard Chan College and MIT Sloan crew emphasizes that these social situations are main determinants of poor well being and due to this fact altering them results in prevention of sickness and incapacity within the first place.

Constructing on many years of earlier work redesign analysis and frameworks, the crew 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 situations that not solely enhance employee well-being however can also profit the group:

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

The toolkit supplies many examples and case research of how these methods have been examined and carried out in a wide range of office settings. As an example, one research discovered that giving high-tech professionals extra management over their work schedules resulted in staff who had been extra productive, much less confused, and fewer prone to give up.

Along with being simpler at growing worker well-being, a redesign primarily based on the Work Design for Well being framework may save employers cash, in line with the researchers. Wellness packages now price on common greater than $700 per worker, whereas one in depth redesign initiative reviewed by the authors price roughly half that a lot.

“Office modifications throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have proven employers that offering staff with extra flexibility in the place, when, and the way they work will be helpful to staff 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 Improvement Research at Harvard Chan College. “The return to extra acquainted office practices and settings gives a key second for employers to think about how they’ll reshape the work atmosphere to higher promote employee well-being, engagement, and retention. The Work Design for Well being method gives steerage and evidence-based methods to employers on how they may accomplish this.”

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


Harvard T.H. Chan College of Public Well being

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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