Health and Happiness from Meaningful Work: Research in Quality of Working Life

Health and Happiness from Meaningful Work: Research in Quality of Working Life

Health and Happiness from Meaningful Work: Research in Quality of Working Life by Soren Ventegodt, Joan Merrick
English | 2009-04-30 | ISBN: 1606928201 | 244 pages | PDF | 1,9 MB

Happiness at workyour quality of life and sometimes your life depends on it. Work is an important part of the life of the modern man, as it always has been, but work has become more complicated that before. Today what we do is often done as a part of a large organisation. The work is often abstract manipulation of matter or information, and the value created by the single member of the organisation has become increasingly difficult to measure.

Organisations have become increasingly responsible for not only the physical work environment, but also for the mental working environment, and factors like stress and sexual harassment are becoming more and more regulated by company rules and culture. The health of the employees has become a major financial interest of the company as only healthy employees and leaders can perform optimally. Often the companies have health insurance for their people. Today employees and leaders also expect work to provide their life with meaning and stimulating experiences and developing challenges. Scholarly knowledge is substituted with experiential learning in a developing and dynamic environment. Society is developing fast and only companies with modern, well-oriented and culturally integrated employees can win the competition by offering costumers, clients or patients the best products and services. A strong association between quality of life, development of personal character, self-realisation, development of talents and skills, physical and mental health, meaning of life, sense of coherence and similar core concepts of modern medical and psychosocial sciences have in many studies now been strongly associated with work satisfaction, joy on the job and similar concepts. The scientific challenge we have taken upon our shoulders is to put the whole messy and chaotic area in order, and create a formula according to which the actual integrated status of worker can be calculated. We have decided to call the integrated concept of all above mentioned dimensions for working life quality, similar to the well-known global quality of life concept in medicine and social sciences. We are proud to present, in the present book, a mathematical formula from which the created value of an employee or leader can be known, if only the working life quality is known. We also provide a questionnaire for measuring the quality of working life, based on a theory of quality of working life. We have in a study on a random sample of the Danish population found a strong statistical association between the measured quality of working life and health. We started the research in quality of working life in 1994, and the first version of the QWL-theory was ready in 1996. In 1997 it was empirically tested in a study involving 1,500 persons and 30 companies. After adjusting the questionnaire and analysis of the data we further improved our understanding to the level that we are happy to present in this book, based on a number of published scientific papers.

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