Emerge and Spread Your Wings

7 Factors Influencing Work Wellbeing

“Developing wellbeing at work is one of the most challenging tasks in contemporary society”

(Laine, P. & Rinnie, R., 2015, pg 91).

Explaining and defining wellbeing in the workplace is an emerging theme in health research. Numerous studies set out to explore employee wellbeing, work environments and the influencing factors on these. In other words what helps employees cope with work demands so that they can stay productive in their jobs, and not leave or become unwell? Certainly a relevant question to explore for the health and social services work force.

What constitutes work wellbeing is a complex question, however some of the factors influencing our wellbeing at work have been identified in Laine and Rinnie’s literature review.

  1. Health Issues/healthy work environment and health promotion
  2. Work/family roles: conflict or support
  3. Individual factors and personality
  4. Working life uncertainties and threats (changes in work context, threats of redundancy)
  5. Meaning and Content of work, competence
  6. Human relationships and social factors
  7. Management/leadership style and personnel policies

I’m sure you will be able to identify at least a couple of these factors which directly influence your wellbeing in your work. One person’s tolerance to one aspect will be different to another’s. Our individual response will be based on our own subjective interpretation. This is why for one person a rigid work schedule with no flexibility of hours will result in significant stress, while for someone else, the work hours matter much less than the authoritarian boss who enforces them.

These seven factors can also have a positive effect on our well-being, for instance employers who offer a subsidised gym programme can contribute to their employee’s health. So while the researchers grapple with definitions and general concepts, those of us at the coal face can use this information to identify those factors we can influence to the benefit of our own wellbeing.

Some suggestions for you:

  • Consider what personality strengths you have that assist you to flourish in your work? Maybe Adaptability, Communication, Connectedness, Strategic, Focus (for more information on Personality Strengths see my earlier blog)
  • How does your work role/hours/conditions support your work/family balance? For instance do flexible hours allow for attending your children’s school events
  • How does your own management/leadership style support the wellbeing of the staff you manage?
  • How does the work you do align with your values and purpose, and give you opportunities to contribute in a way you find meaningful?

Ref: Laine, P., & Rinne, R. (2015). Developing wellbeing at work: Emerging dilemmas. International Journal of Wellbeing, 5(2), 91-108