6th Regulating for Decent Work Conference, 8-10 July 2019

Track III. Well-being in the world of work

The world of work has been changing at a faster pace than ever before. The issue of well-being has emerged in the past years as a consequence of both structural changes in work organization and increases in work intensity. While information and communication technologies have enabled workers to juggle complex tasks and demands, they have also transformed the way work is organized, blurring the boundaries between work and personal life, and presenting new psychosocial risks. At the same time, a large proportion of workers continue to work in informal economy or precarious work situations and spend long hours at work to make ends meet under poor working conditions, which has a substantial impact on their health and work-life balance. In addition, women continue to disproportionately shoulder unpaid care work, while carrying out paid work, which has implications on their health and well-being as they typically have longer working days than their male counterparts. There is also a realization that individual happiness and well-being depend on both private and working life, and mental health of the worker. All these issues are inter-connected, and this track will explore the concept of well-being from a holistic and inter-disciplinary approach, taking into consideration individuals’ health and work-related environmental, organisational and psychosocial factors.

Track III invites papers to stimulate dialogue between academics, policy makers and practitioners from the different disciplines in order to explore the complementarity of different perspectives and the synergies that can be enhanced in research, policy and practice and will address the following questions, amongst others:
  • How can worker well-being be measured in order to foster an integrated approach to assessing and optimising worker well-being at the policy level?
  • How do workers perceive their well-being? What does ‘well-being’ mean for workers’ financial needs?
  • How has the notion of well-being evolved over time and across cultures, and what significance has it acquired to contemporary realities? How could we organise a reduction in working time while ensuring income security?
  • How can we ensure a sustainable interface between well-being and work-life balance?
  • What are the implications of advances in technology and new occupations on the well-being of workers? What can be done to ensure worker well-being under varying employment arrangements and conditions?
  • To what extent is well-being at work affected by violence, bullying and harassment? How do we ensure a workplace free of violence, bullying and harassment?
  • How do psychological risks at work affect the physical health of workers, including cardiovascular and musculoskeletal diseases, hypertension, mental health (burnout/depression), etc.?
  • What is the impact of work design, health promotion and organisational practices on the safety, health and well-being of workers?
  • How do emerging and developing economies perceive psychosocial factors at work? Are psychosocial risks limited to certain occupations or is it a widespread phenomena?
Track coordinators: Manal Azzi, Patrick Belser, Ockert Dupper, Uma Rani