June 14, 2017
For some time now, the debate about how the workplace adds to the bottom line of an organisation has focused increasingly on the subject of wellbeing. There are plenty of good reasons for this, with the issue subject to both the push of employers as well as the pull of employees. Everybody thinks it’s a good idea and it’s easy to see why. Wellbeing is about business ethics, recruitment and retention, productivity, physical and mental health, work-life balance, absenteeism and the management of a flexible workforce, and all the other things that underpin the success and health of an organisation and each individual. It suggests a more positive approach to the workplace than either health & safety or occupational health, both of which remain disciplines more focused on reducing risk and harm than promoting positive outcomes, as is the case with wellbeing. Neither is it about something as raw and nebulous as productivity, which remains difficult and even impossible to measure for knowledge and creative workers and only offers a single dimension on a key workplace issue anyway.