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Workplace Well-Being - What is it?

Support your Employees Mental Health

Workplace Well-Being - What is it?

Support your Employees Mental Health

Well-being is commonly regarded as feeling good or experiencing fulfilment and purpose. It is a desirable state for many individuals and is increasingly targeted by organizations and societies. However, well-being is not stable. It fluctuates within shorter periods (days and weeks), and it can increase or decrease over longer periods (months and years).

Well-being may result from perceptions of positive features in one’s self, one’s working life and one’s actions in the world. It may contribute to these perceptions as well as to motivational and action processes. However, well-being is conceptually distinct from these perceptions, motivations, and actions.

What is Well-Being?

There are two distinct perspectives of well-being, being grounded in different philosophical traditions and worldviews.

Hedonic view: focuses on well-being as pleasure or happiness. This perspective is referred to as subjective well-being and comprises the following as core components:

  • the experience of positive affect
  • low levels of negative affect
  • high levels of life satisfaction

Eudaimonic view: regards well-being as living a good and meaningful life. This perspective focuses on living a life of virtue and comprises the following as core components: 

  • personal growth and self-realization
  • intrinsic motivation
  • authenticity and personal expressiveness
  • the pursuit of meaning in life

Work-Related Well-Being

During the past 10–15 years, researchers have increasingly addressed positive aspects of work-related well-being, such as work engagement and thriving. 

Work engagement refers to the process by which employees bring in their personal selves during work role performances. Most concepts centre around three aspects:

  • Physical aspect: effort and intensity 
  • Cognitive aspect: attention and absorption
  • Emotional aspect: enthusiasm and energy 

Thriving at work is another concept of positive work-related well-being. It incorporates both a hedonic and eudaimonic view, emphasizing two major components:

  • Vitality: to feel energetic and alive
  • Learning: the experience of acquiring and applying new knowledge and skills.

Work-Related Factors that Affects Well-Being

As mentioned previously, well-being does have fluctuations and changes. According to an analysis, there is an average of 39.5% of total variance in positive affect and 53.17% of total variance in negative affect in the same person’s well-being on different working days. Therefore, it is important to realize the work-related factors that affect one’s well-being.

1. Job Stressors

Features of work situations that potentially elicit physiological and psychological strain reactions. These stressors either have a challenging nature (e.g., job demands, workload) or can hinder task accomplishment (e.g., hassles, constraints). When there are more job stressors, well-being will decrease.

2. Job Resources

Typical examples are autonomy (i.e., job control), feedback, and task variety, as well as opportunities for learning and development. When there are more job resources, one’s well-being will improve.

3. Interpersonal Environment

It includes social support, negative social interactions, and leadership processes at work. The interpersonal environment has a mild positive relationship with well-being. It is found that the relationship becomes stronger when there are contingencies.

4. Personal Resources

Individual factors that help one to master the environment and achieve one’s goals. Major factors include self-efficacy, optimism, organization-based self-esteem, and active coping. 

5. Work–family Interface

The responsibilities brought by different roles one owns in work and family life cause conflicts. When there are more work-family interfaces, well-being will deteriorate. However, employees may adjust to conflicts between different life domains and reduce the effect over time when appropriate interventions are implemented.

The Effect of Well-Being on Work Performance

Many factors of work can affect one’s well-being, but well-being can reversely affect one’s work performance. The belief that happy workers are more productive is widespread. It is found that workers with higher well-being perform better in the following aspects.

  • Task performance: feelings of recovery during leisure time lead to an increase in self-rated job performance. By contrast, emotional exhaustion causes a decrease in self-rated task performance.
  • Extra-role performance: finish extra work that is not part of their formal job requirements and try to solve problems before they occur. People with better well-being tend to achieve more extra-role performance.


After understanding well-being and how it will affect one’s work performance, companies must find ways to improve employees’ overall well-being. By valuing and putting more resources into employees’ well-being, the long-term efficiency and overall performance of corporations can be significantly improved.



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