Please note that What Works Wellbeing will close operations on 30 April 2024.  Read more
May 2022

Business Leaders’ Council: Productivity and wellbeing

Business Leaders’ Council: Productivity and wellbeing
In partnership with
  • BT Group
  • Bupa
  • Maximus
  • At this Business Leaders’ Council event, a panel of experts explored the relationship between productivity and wellbeing.

    The webinar was chaired by Peter Cheese, CEO of the CIPD and Chair of our Board. Peter was joined in discussion by Dr Matthew Agarwala (The Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge) who presented the findings from his team’s research on life satisfaction and productivity, Dr Richard Heron (Occupational Physician and member of the National Forum for Health and Wellbeing) and Nancy Hey (Executive Director at the What Works Centre for Wellbeing).

    Watch the webinar

    Links shared during the event

    Here are the links shared and referred to over the course of the event:

    Questions asked during the event
    • Do you think it would help the scale of data issue for the APS to be stratified by local authority? There is a consultation on this survey now where we can ask for this: https://consultations.ons.gov.uk/external-affairs/labour-market-statistics-user-engagement/
    • You showed some LS gently improving up until 2019 – has there been any analysis on why this was gently improving pre-pandemic?
    • I wonder if the pandemic might actually cause a sea change in productivity? Partly because radical change became possible, partly because of an increase in trust and partly because people are more productive (and often happier) when working from home.
    • Has anyone raised concerns that employers caring about employee’s wellbeing might lead to employers either not hiring people they judge likely to have lower wellbeing, or to employers letting go employees with lower wellbeing?
    • Has anyone raised concerns that employers caring about employee’s wellbeing might lead to employers either not hiring people they judge likely to have lower wellbeing, or to employers letting go employees with lower wellbeing?
    • Dr Matthew Agarwala: We’ve looked at the relationship between life satisfaction and productivity at different geographical scales. But we could equally imagine a map that displayed how ‘close’ different local authorities are in terms of their economic/industrial structure.

    At an organisational level, it’s a barometer of how people are feeling at any one time. When leaders genuinely care about staff wellbeing, business outcomes of interest are better.
    - Dr Richard Heron

    Close section

    Sign up to our weekly e-mail list

    Sign up to receive resources, insights and evidence as they are published.