Wellbeing at Work, Wellbeing at Work 2014

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Holistic work wellbeing measurement
Harri Virolainen

Last modified: 2014-04-14


There are many different ways to measure work wellbeing. However, in many workplaces, measurement of work wellbeing is biased and limited to only a few indicators. Measurement is one way to get to know the current level of workplace work wellbeing. The aim of this article is to present a holistic work wellbeing measurement model which includes many work wellbeing indicators such as personal and organizational level indicators, preventive and reactive indicators. The model can be used as a practical tool in workplaces and researchers can­ also use it when measuring work wellbeing. This article presents both traditional and modern ways to measure work wellbeing. Traditionally, work wellbeing has been measured by absenteeism numbers, organization climate statistics, number of danger and close by situations, number of workplace accidents etc. In the past, measurement has mainly been focused on things that are not working well in the workplace. This article presents also positive indicators such as work satisfaction, happiness at work and work engagement. Work wellbeing has traditionally been measured by using statistics  (fx. absenteeism), gathering opinions from personnel by using questionnaires and by taking blood samples of the personnel and analyzing them in the laboratory. Nowadays, new ways have been developed to measure wellbeing such as measuring the personnel’s recovery level by using pulse meter and measuring personnel’s sleeping habits by using biohacking devices. Use of technology has become a new trend in the measurement of wellbeing. Measurement is a good start to improve work wellbeing but usually measurement itself does not improve wellbeing. What happens after the measurement is important. This article handles good practices and models how to use measurement results as a tool to improve work wellbeing. The first thing is to tell the organizational and team level results openly to the personnel. There is no point to hide the results even if the results are not as good as expected. The second phase is to be solution focused and start thinking about what areas of workplace and working need improvement and how to develop them. The third phase is to gather a group whose task is to make sure development areas will be improved. The fourth phase is to measure again.


measurement, indicator, holistic model