In a world that is constantly evolving, both employers and employees are confronted with numerous challenges that influence the way we work and conduct business. Factors such as the ageing of society, globalisation, and digitalisation contribute to the rapid evolution of the dynamics in our job market. Amidst these changes, the concept of 'workable work' takes centre stage.
What is 'Workable Work'?
Workable Work is assessed on four essential aspects: psychological fatigue, well-being at work, learning opportunities, and work-life balance. Workable work is thus employment where individuals do not experience burnout, find joy in their tasks, have opportunities for growth and development, while maintaining a qualitative balance between their professional and private lives. Factors such as workload, task variation, emotional strain, autonomy, physical demands, and support from supervisors influence the level of workability.
The importance of Workable Work
At the individual, organisational, and societal level, we observe positive effects of workable work.
On an individual level, there is a direct correlation between workable work and the degree of physical and mental well-being. In a workable environment, employees report fewer sick days and derive greater happiness from their jobs.
Employers benefit from this as well, especially in a competitive job market where filling vacancies is challenging. In a workable environment, employee productivity is higher, and individuals are more committed to staying loyal to the organisation. The sense of purpose and motivation in a workable professional environment translates into increased job satisfaction, lower turnover rates, and a more positive organisational culture.
Society also gains from workable work, as four out of five individuals in their forties with a workable job envision working until retirement.
The curative aspect
The presence of a policy focusing on workable work and emphasizing physical, social, and mental well-being is a preventive way to sustainably utilize human capital within organisations. A policy emphasizing workable work and well-being seeks to create an environment where employees are not only productive, but also healthy and satisfied. By doing so, the organisation can prevent potential negative outcomes, such as turnover or long-term absence due to physical or mental complaints.
But what happens when an employee does fall ill? How can we efficiently and sustainably reintegrate them into the workforce? The process of reintegrating an employee who has experienced illness involves a thoughtful and supportive approach to ensure their wellbeing.
Therefore, the traditional view of work and illness as absolute opposites must be reconsidered. The dichotomy between sickness and work should make room for a positive approach, concentrating on what is still feasible within the framework of temporary illbeing. For example, taking on a partial set of tasks, starting over in a progressive working schedule, reconnecting with colleagues... may be the first steps towards full-time employment in the future. In fact, research shows that long-term absence delays complete healing for a lot of illnesses. Using work as a medicine during revalidation is recommended! Work fulfils the universal psychological need for competence growth, connection with others, and autonomy, serving as a central time allocation. The following tips can support improving the reintegration process:
In the quest for a resilient and sustainable future of work, the pursuit of workable work and the promotion of effective reintegration are crucial pillars. By nurturing these key factors, we lay the foundation for a job landscape that not only respects the needs of the individual and the organisation, but also contributes to a better society!
Voka. (2022, 20 december). De arbeidsmarkt is ziek – van preventie tot re-integratie (langdurig) zieken.
Wat is werkbaar werk. (z.d.). SERV. https://www.werkbaarwerk.be/werkbaarwerk/wat-werkbaar-werk#:~:text=Werkbaar%20werk%20is%3A,dus%20te%20maken%20met%20leermogelijkheden
Vivo. (z.d.). Wat is werkbaar werk? · Vivo. waardevolwerk.be. https://www.waardevolwerk.be/wat-is-werkbaar-werk
Metadata: Werkbaar werk. (z.d.). www.vlaanderen.be. https://www.vlaanderen.be/statistiek-vlaanderen/arbeid/werkbaar-werk/metadata-werkbaar-werk