Well-being at work
This factsheet was published in June 2016.
What is well-being at work?
The importance of employee health and well-being has become more widely recognised in the UK over the past decade. There’s growing recognition of the need for employer well-being practices to address the psychosocial, as well as the physical, aspects of working life.
While risks to workers’ health from physical hazards still exist, since the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, fatal and non-fatal injuries to employees have fallen significantly. However, complex changes in the world of work mean that individuals are now at risk from other organisational and wider environmental pressures; for example, our Megatrends report and Autumn 2015 Employee Outlook reflect the fact that people’s work and domestic lives have become more entwined and provide strong evidence pointing to an intensification of work.
There are many varied definitions of well-being. The World Health Organisation describes health as ‘a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’. It describes mental health as ‘a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community’.
Our recent report Growing the health and well-being agenda: from first steps to full potential states that well-being involves ‘Creating an environment to promote a state of contentment which allows an employee to flourish and achieve their full potential for the benefit of themselves and their organisation’.
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- What is well-being at work?
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