Supporting Health and Wellbeing Amid New Ways of Working

The implementation of New Ways of Working was accelerated during the COVID-19 crisis requiring from workers and companies a process of adaptation. We propose an innovation project to develop and test a supportive training intervention.



Workers are increasingly obligated to shape and organize their work in novel ways. Companies are responsible for providing the according framework by implementing new leadership styles and teamwork methods. It is our hypothesis that success in this adaptive process positively affects subjective wellbeing (SWB), and that this effect is mediated by personal work design competence (WDC) consisting of planning, self-motivation, and stress avoidance competence. Potential for innovation is derived from the fact that we shed light on two issues for which we detect a lack of knowledge. These are (1) the ways in which workers can profit from the opportunities provided by NWW without suffering from its downsides. This is a pressing issue as illustrated by phenomena such as “quitting” and the “great resignation”. (2) While we know that different subgroups of the working population profit to a varying degree from WDC, we do not yet sufficiently understand the reasons for these differences. Both via statistical analyses regarding our impact model as well as by exploring how WDC does in fact create impact, we aim to close this knowledge gap and provide workers and their employers with the necessary knowledge to profit from improved SWB through augmented WDC. Thus, we aim to make WDC accessible to a greater and more diverse share of the working population.

Course of action

The intended project follows a mixed-methods approach: In phase one, an impact model for explaining how NWW influences SWB will be examined using multi-variate statistical methods, especially multiple regression analysis and structural equation modelling. These will be applied to survey data representative of the Swiss working population (Barometer Gute Arbeit) that cover a broad spectrum of work-related personal and environmental variables. In phase two, the phenomena, dynamics, and social interactions related to NWW and SWB will be examined in a qualitative research design by means of 8-12 in-depth case studies of Swiss SMEs including expert interviews and focus groups. Phase three will be devoted to the collaborative design and randomized controlled trial of a hybrid training intervention to provide workers with the necessary skills to improve their WDC and achieve a high level of SWB. The intervention will include a carefully designed manual to guarantee easy and standardized applicability.

This project contributes to the following SDGs

  • 3: Good health and well-being