Press & Media

How Work is GOOD for Your Health?


The world of work has radically changed. Traditional working might no longer exist in the era of technology and information. Taylor Review, on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government,  has investigated the modern working practice. Entitled ‘Good Work’, the research observed the correlation between work today and employee’s health. The findings showed that “good work was important for many reasons. It allows people to have a fair income and can help improve productivity. Crucially good work is vital for people’s health and wellbeing too.”

Duncan Selbie, a chief executive from Public Health England, said to Health Foundation that having a job is good for our health. What makes it different is the quality of the workplace. If the work environment can ensure employees that they have safe, encouraging, and supportive environment, it indicates that the work space is good for employees’ mental and physical health. Thus, positive workplace can give positive outcome. That’s how good work should be.

Another study from WHO revealed that jobs we have are closely related to health outcomes. The evidence is that good work is crucial in promoting health.  Some variables such as work circumstance and environment are the most crucial factors that have significant impacts on employees’ lives. Other factors such as home environment, genetics, income and education level, as well as relationship with family or friends have also considerable impact on health.

Meanwhile, a study also found that those who have higher status roles were less likely to die from heart disease than those in lower status roles. This could be because people in the higher level of management have the ability to make meaningful decisions and to control their life better. Hence, it can be concluded that high level roles have a proactive effect on health.

Robert Williams, a policy support officer at the Health Foundation, in his work life health study has summarised several methods that company could adopt to improve employee’s work and health:  

Pay fairly and offer lasting security

In 2017, an estimated 6.2 million employees were paid less than the real living wage. The data suggested that a great number of workers live under debt and poverty. They work but it does not make their life any better. Thus, providing a fair pay is crucial for health as fair pay can give employees motivation to work while freeing preventing them from having debt. They can  have decent house, afford nutrition, and do things they enjoy while being able to save for future.

Ensure good working conditions

60 percent staffs are still working even when they are ill. It is because they fear losing their job or pay if they take medical leave. No wonder, this makes the number of employee’s health-related issues are increasing. Therefore, company should provide safety and comfort at work. It means ensuring staffs to have secure contracts that allow them to take paid leave for illness and crucial life events.

Enable a good work life balance

Working for long hours makes employees feel depressed. Thus, company should ensure that employees have life balance between their work and personal lives. Allowing them to see and spend their time with family or friends can likely increase their work life balance and happiness, which result on their wellbeing and health.

Provide training and opportunities to progress

TUC reports that work training and further education makes people happier and more effective at work. Helping employees to achieve brighter career prospect will also potentially increase their income. As a result, it helps promote social mobility and reduce the socioeconomic inequalities that are linked to negative outcomes such as discouragement at work or employee turnover.

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