Viewing archives for Dr. William Fleming

Why are workers so sad? These researchers offer clues – and recommendations

Fast Company

Layard cites his research, along with studies by George Ward, an economics research fellow at Oxford University, and Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, a professor of economics and behavioral science at Oxford’s Saïd Business School, which demonstrates the impact of worker well-being on individual- and firm-level performance. 

While more conservative economists prioritize quantifiable measures like income, rather than subjective emotions like happiness, Layard says “we should be measuring the benefit of a policy not by its effect on income, but by its overall effect on well-being.” The professor cheekily rejects the idea that studying wellness is not a hard science. “We are the hard-headed ones and they are the softies,” he argues. 

Volunteering: A Proven Way To Improve Employee Well-Being


However, it’s important to note that the Oxford research concluded volunteering has an impact on well-being because it provides a sense of purpose and belonging. Other research confirms a strong connection between volunteering and mental health and even demonstrates that it can lead to a longer life.

How to create a great volunteering program


Employee volunteer programs have a positive correlation with worker retention, wellbeing, and engagement, according to a study published earlier this year by the Wellbeing Research Centre at the University of Oxford. And workers who participated in volunteering and purpose programs were 52% less likely to leave their companies, according to a 2022 talent retention study from Benevity, a donation, volunteer, and grant management platform.

Assessing data quality in a Big convenience sample of work wellbeing

How to save HR from itself

Financial Times

This may all sound dangerously like common sense. But the continuing bad-mouthing of HR stems partly from the perception that its contribution in the workplace too often lacks this sort of basic practicality. A new paper in the Industrial Relations Journal has found that many wellbeing and resilience initiatives at work — training, or apps, for example — have failed to leave employees feeling any healthier. What might work? Better job design and work organisation. But interventions are too rarely based on multiple sources of good evidence.

How to build a workplace wellbeing program that actually works

Health Leaders

Wellbeing is having a moment.

Mental health, resilience, and burnout alleviation are among today’s top healthcare HR focuses, according to sweeping research that professional services firm AON released in December, which pulses benefits trends across 160 U.S. health systems and more than 3.3 million employees.

But it’s no small feat to cultivate a shared sense of wellness and engagement in the hundreds to thousands to hundreds of thousands of people who make up a modern workforce. In fact, a new study out of the U.K. has cast some doubt—and kicked up a LinkedIn debate—on whether individual-level interventions even work.

Why mindfulness training at work doesn’t reduce stress

Yahoo Finance

Recently, Dr William Fleming, a Unilever research fellow at the University of Oxford’s Wellbeing Research Centre, analysed survey responses of more than 46,000 people to find out whether workplace wellbeing and mindfulness interventions actually worked.

He found that there was no difference in the self-reported mental health of those who participated in these programmes, compared with those who did not. Overall, the schemes didn’t improve workers’ sense of belonging or reduce how pressured they felt.

UK employee health has barely improved since pandemic

Financial Times

Recent research by William Fleming at the University of Oxford even suggests that individual interventions targeting employees — such as resilience training or wellbeing apps — are of little value on their own. Such findings are in line with longstanding arguments that improving structural factors — such as quality of management, job design, organisational culture and pay — are more important for improving workplace wellbeing.

Do office wellness programs actually work?

CBC Radio

Companies spend big money to help their employees feel good at work, from lunchtime yoga to mindfulness seminars. But a new study suggests these workplace wellness programs aren’t actually doing much to help. We dive into office wellness in the first instalment of Well Founded, our new series about making sense of all the pitches on how to be a better you.

Wellbeing: Focusing on the work, not just the worker

Canadian HR Reporter

“This is problematic for a number of reasons. First, individual-level interventions overlook systemic issues. Instead, they assume that well-being problems are employees’ personal problems. But if the workload is heavy, the work culture is toxic, the organization is understaffed, what can a training program on mindfulness do for the employees?”