Viewing archives for Cause And Effect

Individual-level wellbeing strategies aren’t working

HR Magazine

The headline finding is that individual-level mental health interventions don’t work. Across several indicators of work wellbeing and mental health, participants appeared no better off than their colleagues who didn’t participate. There wasn’t improvement in evaluations of the job either.

Subjective changes or subjective levels in life satisfaction: which performs better?

Link between wellbeing and productivity is made ‘clear’

Financial Times

The good news, says William Fleming, research fellow at Oxford university’s Wellbeing Research Centre, is that there is a “clear link between subjective wellbeing and productivity”.

He points to two recent studies that show happier workers make more sales, and wellbeing at work can boost financial performance. They support the business case for tending to staff happiness, he argues. “This is without considering absence rates because of mental health and costs of employee turnover.”

Companies reap bigger dividends from happier staff

Financial Times

For academics Jan-Emmanuel De Neve and George Ward at the University of Oxford, and Micah Kaats at Harvard University, it is no surprise, then, that the company’s share price has performed so strongly: their recent study provides the clearest link yet between staff wellbeing and financial performance in quoted US companies. “We find that higher levels of wellbeing generally predict higher firm valuations, higher return on assets, higher gross profits, and better stock market performance,” they write in a 42-page paper.

Employers re-examine wellbeing strategies

Financial Times

Positive effects observed in pilot schemes often evaporate when a programme is released into “real-world settings”, cautions William Fleming, research fellow at the University of Oxford Wellbeing Research Centre. In a study of survey responses from 46,000 UK workers, he found no difference in the self-reported mental health of those who participated in wellbeing programmes and those who did not.

Teacher Well-Being Depends on Workload, School Climate and Feeling Supported


Researchers from the University of Oxford Wellbeing Research Centre developed a framework that divides teacher well-being into three main factors: job satisfaction, individual elements like physical health, and school-level drivers like work-life balance and class size.

Select Committee on Happiness and Public Policy Outcomes

A generation adrift: Why young people are less happy and what we can do about it

World Economic Forum

In the “seven ages of man” depicted in As You Like It, Shakespeare painted later life stages as melancholic, but the latest World Happiness Report unveils a concerning reality: young people worldwide now report lower happiness levels than their elders. Since 2006, levels of reported youth happiness have declined in North America, South America, Europe, South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.

2402 | Health Lifestyles at Work

William Fleming

The workplace is an ever more popular site for health promotion, but remains an underexplored factor in health lifestyles theory; whereas, sociological accounts of workplace wellness view it critically as managerial control. These perspectives both miss that participation in workplace wellness may represent socially structured health lifestyles. Addressing this gap, I extend a theoretical model for bringing together health lifestyles theory and critical wellbeing studies. Supporting this model, I provide an empirical account of the availability of, participation in and barriers to workplace wellness. I analyse a multi-organisation sample of British workers (N = 27,919 individuals; 143 organisations) to reveal that engagement with wellness has distinct associations with multiple social factors (class, race and gender), job factors (level, contract, working hours and commute) and organisational context. Theories of health lifestyles ought to include work characteristics and managerial regimes, and critiques of wellness must analyse how social position affects workers’ experiences of wellness.

The chart that shows how happy you are, just as long as you’re old enough

The Age

Now for the bad news: despite all our advantages, Australia’s average life satisfaction score has declined over the past decade, and the trend started before the pandemic. On the report’s measure, happiness in Australia last peaked in 2013.

The downward trend has been driven by gloomier young people. Between 2010 and 2023 the decline in average life satisfaction scores among Australians aged under-30 was nearly double that of older age groups. While over-60s in Australia were ranked 9th in the world for happiness this year, that fell to 19th for under-30s. Happiness among younger age cohorts also fell markedly in the US, Britain, Canada and New Zealand.