What is it about?

A broad framework on the meanings of work is used to expand the boundaries of worker well-being to reflect the broad importance of work in human life. Rather than just linking work and well-being to a distinct set of tasks, we argue for an approach that sees work in its broadest terms, and explicitly considers the wide-ranging private and public benefits and costs of work. The resulting comprehensive framework for defining and measuring worker well-being consists of 10 dimensions: Pay and benefits; Safety, health, and body work; Psychological and mental health; Identity; Freedom and voice; Skill and creativity; Autonomy over work; Governance and ownership; Caring; and Serving others

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Why is it important?

The importance of worker well-being is widely-embraced both in theory and policy, but there are numerous perspectives on what it is, how to measure it, whether it needs improving and if so, how to improve it. We argue that a more complete approach to worker well-being needs to consider workers as full citizens who derive and experience both public and private benefits and costs from working.


We believe that this article uses the broadest set of theoretically-rich conceptualizations of work available and therefore importantly moves the literature toward the most comprehensive approach to worker well-being developed to date.

Professor John W Budd
University of Minnesota System

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Worker well-being and the importance of work: Bridging the gap, European Journal of Industrial Relations, May 2014, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/0959680114535312.
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