Well-being and occupational health in the 21st century workplace


Manchester School of Management, UMIST, PO Box 88, Manchester M60 1QD, UK (e-mail: kate.sparks@umist.ac.uk).


Over the last 40 years, major changes have taken place in the workplace. The growth in the use of information technology at work, the globalization of many industries, organizational restructuring, changes in work contracts and worktime scheduling have radically transformed the nature of work in many organizations. The workforce itself is also diversifying, with an increase in female participation, a growing number of dual-earner couples and older workers. The present paper discusses the impact of these workplace transitions on employee well-being. We focus on four issues that are current concerns for organizations and the workforce; job insecurity, work hours, control at work, and managerial style. For each topic, recent research is presented, with suggestions for future research and recommendations for practitioners working in the organizations of today. The paper concludes with some final considerations for researchers and practitioners that may benefit both employee well-being and organizational effectiveness.