The Centre for Research on Work and Wellbeing makes an impact by developing understanding of the factors that affect wellbeing - both within the workplace and through employment. It focuses on the need for healthy working lives, investigating issues of mental health in the workplace, diversity management, inequality and work life balance.
An intersectional approach
Our focus adopts an intersectional approach to wellbeing by recognising that individuals bring with them a range of social identities to the workplace (including, ethnicity, gender, social class, age and disability) and that these identities intersect to impact on people's relationship with work.
Responding to industry and public sector needs
Building on existing funded projects, including those looking at hidden disabilities, in-work poverty and ethnicity, we are pursuing research that responds to real life organisational issues and sourcing funding opportunities from trade unions, the third sector, private sector organisations, research councils and other funding bodies.
Ageing and wellbeing
Our work on aging and wellbeing forms a key component of the centre's strategy for the next five years. For example, members of the Centre are working in conjunction with colleagues at the University of West of Scotland to understand the experiences of employees with dementia or mild cognitive impairment (funded by the Alzheimer's Society).
We are also exploring the crossover effects of gender, ethnicity, and culture, amongst other aspects, on career experiences and opportunities.
Recent examples of impact
Neurodiversity in the transport and travel industry
Neurodiverse conditions affect approximately 10 per cent of the working population, yet scant attention is given to such issues by HRM practitioners and HRM academics. Our research explored attitudes towards employees with neurodiverse conditions in the transport and travel industry, with a view to improving the quality of working life for employees with a neurodiverse condition.
The research resulted in a high-profile dissemination event in the House of Commons in December 2012 which was attended by members of parliament from a cross-select committee on dyslexia, senior trade unionists, HRM and occupational health practitioners, line managers and employees with neurodiverse conditions.
The research has led to the intensifying of a campaign by the TSSA trade union to make employers in the transport and travel industry more aware of the issues faced by employees with such conditions. A further impact has been the intensification of training of equality representatives to support neurodiverse employees in the workplace. The research was disseminated via the Trades Union Conference 2013.
Supporting employees with mental health conditions in the workplace
CRoWW, in partnership with the Business School at the University of Edinburgh, undertook research for the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) to build understanding of individual’s lived experiences of mental health problems in the workplace. The project involved the survey of hundreds of employees in Scotland and in-depth interviews with dozens of working people with experience of mental health problems.
'What Works?' is the resultant report which reveals the facts about mental health in the workplace, as well as providing employers of all sizes and sectors with practical ways to tackle both the human, and the financial costs, of poor workplace mental health.
Employability and the ICT Sector
This project, undertaken in 2011, in conjunction with e-skills UK, examined the value of internships incorporated in university programmes, particularly in the ICT sector in England and Wales. It drew upon data from a survey of 300 early-career and more established ICT workers, as well as 26 semi-structured interviews with a sample of the survey population where the perspectives of interns, employers and educators on internship programmes were investigated in further detail. The project involved members of CRoWW with a researcher from St. Andrew's University.