Employee Wellbeing, Work Behaviours and Work Outcomes in a Hybrid Work Context

A Study of the Relationship Between Work, Health and Performance Using Novel Workplace Data

by William D. Phillips, Eliane Dufresne, Marco Hafner, Martin Stepanek, Daniel Kotzen, Shaun Subel, Christian Van Stolk

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With an increasing amount of work being carried out through digital channels, new modern workplace telemetry affords us the opportunity to understand the relationships between workplace behaviours, wellbeing and work outcomes at an increasingly granular level.

This study aims to build on the understanding of the links between employees' work behaviours and lifestyle, health, wellbeing and workplace outcomes. Specifically, this study investigates the following:

  1. Are workplace behaviours, assessed using novel data, associated with employee wellbeing?
  2. Is there an opportunity to improve employee performance metrics, including engagement and productivity, with wellbeing being a mediator?

To answer these research questions, the research team conducted a literature review to better understand the interlinkages between health and lifestyle factors, work behaviours and work outcomes, and analysed a proprietary employee dataset of 1,023 UK-based employees of Vitality, which incorporates Microsoft-collected workplace behaviour data and other administrative and self-reported survey data. The researchers used statistical methods including cluster analysis, regression analysis and the creation of an original composite wellbeing score to examine the relationship between workplace behaviours, employee wellbeing and work outcomes.

Key Finding

Evidence from the literature suggests that within an organisation there exist several employee types that can be characterised, at different levels of managerial functions, by their work behaviours. Cluster analysis revealed six cluster groupings, that varied by seniority and key workplace behaviours. Further, regression analysis revealed that these key workplace behaviours are associated with wellbeing and, on the whole, when employees have periods in which they work atypically in comparison to their 'norm' or usual behaviour, this is associated with worse wellbeing outcomes.

Recommendation

The findings suggest that workplace behaviours are associated with wellbeing, that employees can be clustered based on their work behaviours and that improving employee wellbeing is associated with better work and performance outcomes. This opens up the opportunity to provide individualised interventions with the goal of work behaviour change that could lead to better wellbeing outcomes for employees in terms of their mental health, work life balance and burnout risk.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    The associations between workplace behaviours, wellbeing, and performance: what do we know from the literature?

  • Chapter Three

    A comprehensive dataset of workplace behaviours, employee wellbeing and performance

  • Chapter Four

    Can different employee types be identified based on their workplace behaviour?

  • Chapter Five

    The associations between workplace behaviours, employee wellbeing and work performance

  • Chapter Six

    Summary

  • Appendix One

    Literature review methodology

  • Appendix Two

    Cluster analysis technical methodology

  • Appendix Three

    Regression analysis for workplace behaviours and wellbeing

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was commissioned by the Vitality Group, part of Discovery Limited and conducted by RAND Europe.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.