Work, Learning and Wellbeing Work, Learning and Wellbeing

The Work, Learning and Wellbeing evidence programme is a collaboration between the Universities of East Anglia, Sheffield, Reading and Essex. The evidence programme is focused on protecting and enhancing the wellbeing of workers, adult learners and those seeking work. The programme seeks to find practical answers to questions such as:

  • Is it possible to change working practices so that workers are happier, more productive and absent less often?

  • How can growing numbers of older workers best adapt to working later in life and find new jobs in changing labour markets?

  • What lifelong learning opportunities do adults require in order to thrive in globalised and technologically advanced economy?

  • What are the societal costs of ignoring worker wellbeing?

The project team have two major guiding principles.

First ,’what works’ for wellbeing needs to be actionable by workers, adult learners, those seeking work and those close to them eg. line managers, educators, careers advisors, job centre staff – so our focus is on what can be done ‘on the ground’.

Second, because wellbeing is comprised of many things, we will focus on approaches that offer improvements across a broad range of the elements of wellbeing and a broad range of people.

The evidence programme consists of three major themes

  1. Work – focused on those already in work

  2. Transitions – focused on those moving between jobs and in or out of the labour market

  3. Learning – focused the formal and informal learning of adults across the lifespan

Lead investigator

Kevin Daniels is Professor of Organizational Behaviour in the Employment Systems and Institutions Group, Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. Kevin has been actively researching and providing advice on improving wellbeing for over 20 years – and has worked on numerous projects concerned with developing practical guidance for improving work-related wellbeing.

We are delighted that the Universities of East Anglia, Reading, Sheffield and Essex have been asked to lead the evidence programme concerned with Work, Learning and Wellbeing and we are looking forward to working with the other evidence programmes and contributing to the What Works Wellbeing Centre. Good quality jobs and opportunities to acquire and use skills are not only key factors in the wellbeing of individuals and families, but also the economic and social wellbeing of communities.

The What Works Centre for Wellbeing aims to improve the wellbeing of the people in the UK by bringing together the best evidence, making it easy to use and easier to make.To find out, please visit the Centre at

Recent Presentations

'Politics and Wellbeing' - Professor Ian Bache

'Global Traveller' - Professor Laura Camfield

'Learning for Resilience in Professional Practice' - Professor Amanda Howe

'Compensation strategies, employee wellbeing and work intensification' - Dr Chidiebere Ogbonnaya

'Out of Sight, and out of Mind? - Rachel Nayani

'Does Emotional Intelligence training for child and family social workers reduce stress?' - Dr Laura Biggart

Job Loss and Wellbeing: Unpacking Differences by Gender - Dr Simonetta Longhi

Workplace Mental Health: what works, what doesn't and what's right for your workplace - Tom Oxley


Further Resources

An accessible summary of the Work, Learning and Wellbeing team's work has been published on pg. 42 of Impact, a publication committed to supporting and showcasing cross-disciplinary research and collaboration. A digital version of the publication is available here. There are also interesting articles relating aging workers, gender equality, sustainable employment and education in the publication.

The team have produced a series of short online presentations explaining the research being carried out by the Evidence Programme. These are being released gradually on our Youtube channel.

Watch a video of a recent presentation given by Professor Kevin Daniels at DOP 2016, 'Is wellbeing what we think it is'.

The What Works Centre for Wellbeing's measuring wellbeing series consists of discussion papers intended to ignite debate, and how-to guides offering practical advice.

Kevin Daniels was featured in this video by the Eastern Daily Press - 'Future 50: How to recruit the right talent and retain them'.

View the slides of  Sara Connolly and Mark Brian's cost-effectiveness presentation. Entitled 'Are Workplace Wellbeing Interventions Cost-Effective?', it was presented at the DOP Annual Conference 2018 Stratford-Upon-Avon on 12th January 2018.

For the latest updates from the Work, Learning and Wellbeing team, please follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.



Remote Working and Wellbeing Remote Working and Wellbeing

ESI Seminars ESI Seminars

A series of free events to discuss what business, communities and individuals can do to enhance wellbeing. Hear from leading practitioners and academic experts, learn about new evidence, and discuss how to identify and implement effective practices. Refreshments will be provided.