Quality of work and its effect on health

The best starting point for a healthy workforce is an environment your employees enjoy working in, with roles designed to get the best out of them, so they can succeed and be satisfied in their work. This can, in turn, boost productivity – an important factor in business success.


“While having employment is itself vital to people’s health and well-being, the quality of people’s work is also a major factor in helping people to stay healthy and happy.”

 The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices 2017  


The Institute of Employment Research has identified six high level indicators of quality:

• Wages

• Employment quality

• Education and training

• Working conditions

• Work life balance

• Consultative participation and collective representation.

Tips for creating a healthy workplace

Three factors that have a particularly strong influence on wellbeing are job control, management and social support, and a culture that promotes healthy working. Initiatives focusing on these factors are likely to achieve the biggest returns on improving employee wellbeing

Job control

Ÿ  Provide a safe and comfortable workplace e.g. suitable equipment, lighting and noise control

Ÿ  Clearly define roles, aim for variety, and avoid repetitive duties

Ÿ  Involve employees in planning their workload, training and development

Ÿ  Offer clear and achievable routes for career development and promotion

Management and social support

Ÿ   Develop, document, and involve employees in supervision and appraisal processes

Ÿ   Provide networking opportunities for employees from across the organisation

Ÿ   Develop and promote policies to challenge any form of discrimination

Ÿ   Provide a forum for employees to express any concerns about working practices

Culture of healthy working

Ÿ   Provide opportunities and technology for flexible working

Ÿ   Encourage boundaries and balance between work-life and home-life

Ÿ   Encourage employees to be open about any health issues or concerns

Addressing these issues can help prevent common causes of employee illness. Prevention is not only better than cure, but often cheaper too.

How well would you say you are providing these quality of work indicators?