Whitepaper calls for a radical rethink of workplace wellbeing

14th June 2021, London (UK), Dubai (UAE).

  • Despite increased investment and understanding, workplace wellbeing efforts are failing to deliver on their promises
  • Both wellbeing and productivity are top of the leadership agenda. WellWise found that for wellbeing to fuel productivity there needs to be a significant reframing of how it is embedded across an organization
  • WellWise forecasts that it will not be long before we see legislation that drives radical changes in corporate behaviours and employment contracts as governments also prioritize wellbeing

New study by WellWise reveals that despite decades of activity, increased investment, and maturing understanding, levels of workplace wellbeing are not improving and in many areas are getting worse. Burnout driven by the ‘always-on’ culture is one of those areas. WEF indicated the costs associated with turnover and lower productivity seen in burnout resulted in a loss of £255 billion annually. Forbes puts that in perspective;

“That’s like eliminating the combined profits of Apple, Alphabet and the other 10 most profitable American companies.”

In their whitepaper, WellWise explains that the reason that the outcomes of workplace wellbeing efforts have been disappointing to date is because the current approach for most organizations is outdated and largely ineffective. WellWise’s Chief Wellbeing Officer Bobbi Hartshorne explains;

“In most organizations wellbeing is delivered as a stand-alone programme; a well-meaning but sporadic exercise in ‘nudging’ individuals to improve their own physical and mental health. This bolt-on approach to wellbeing misses out on a wealth of opportunities and benefits that a more strategic and integrated approach delivers.”

In a bid to attract top talent, cities are devising their competitive strategies to create environments where people want to live. Most recently, Dubai announced its ambition to become ‘The world’s best city to live’ by 2040. People and planet wellbeing is becoming an increasing feature of such plans. Indeed, in March this year, the Spanish government agreed to pilot a 4-day, 32-hour week. However, it should not require the heavy hand of regulation to increase efforts in this field, the benefits to organizations are available now. In a meta-analysis of 339 independent studies, London School of Economics researchers found a direct correlation between employee wellbeing, employee productivity and firm performance across all industries and regions. Tim Daplyn, CEO of WellWise comments;

“The real opportunity to boost ROI comes when we view workplace wellbeing not as a box-ticking exercise, but as a strategic business investment from which we can expect and demand demonstrable contribution across the entire organization.”

WellWise calls upon leaders in all industries to make the shift to strategically integrated wellbeing to unleash the true potential of their organizations and their employees, as well as better support local and national government efforts. The opportunity and impetus to do this as we exit the ‘eye’ of the COVID-19 storm could not be timelier.

As part of their mission to make workplace wellbeing a strategic priority for every organization, WellWise have made their whitepaper ‘Why Your Workplace Wellbeing Strategy is Failing. And how to rescue it’ available to download for free at

About WellWise

WellWise was established in 2020 by a consortium of leading researchers, business leaders, practitioners, and strategists in response to an emerging global crisis in workplace wellbeing.

Our mission is to make workplace wellbeing a priority for all organizations.

We believe that without a radical shift towards an evidence-based, integrated and strategically aligned approach, organizations will continue to waste millions of dollars on piecemeal interventions and vanity metrics that fail to engage individuals or deliver sustainable impact.

We take a radically different approach that moves beyond ‘yogurt and yoga’ towards wholescale strategic integration and direct alignment with bottom-line financial performance.

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