Wellbeing at Work Book Summary - Wellbeing at Work Book explained in key points
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Wellbeing at Work summary

Jim Clifton and Jim Harter

How to Build Resilient and Thriving Teams

4.3 (236 ratings)
23 mins

Brief summary

Wellbeing at Work by Jim Clifton and Jim Harter is a guide to creating a positive workplace culture. It provides actionable steps for leaders to improve employee engagement, wellbeing, and productivity, ultimately leading to better business outcomes.

Table of Contents

    Wellbeing at Work
    Summary of 7 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 7

    Enjoying your job is the key to a long and happy life.

    What does a good life look like? You might imagine a work-free existence with lots of money, endless leisure time, and carefree socializing with family and friends. But despite dreams of early retirement, a work-free life might not actually make you happy. 

    Not convinced? Consider a pioneering piece of research conducted in the 1950s. In the study, psychologists interviewed hundreds of British and American 95-year-olds to try and learn the secrets of their longevity. 

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, these long-lived folk reported living fairly stress-free lives. They prioritized leisure time with friends and family, and they all had a cheerful outlook on life. They took each day as it came, rather than worrying about the future. 

    But when it came to their working life, the results seemed counterintuitive. Rather than spending their time on stress-busting vacations, the respondents had spent their lives . . . at work.

    The key message here is: Enjoying your job is the key to a long and happy life.

    These men and women had all worked an average of sixty hours a week until they were 70 or 80 years old. And, astoundingly, half of the men had never gone on vacation during their entire working life!

    This just goes to show that work is not the enemy of well-being, contrary to what many of us may think. 

    In fact, the researchers discovered that work can actually protect our well-being. But not just any work – it has to be satisfying work. 

    One thing that separated this contented group of 95-year-olds from the rest of the world’s population was how much they enjoyed their work. Ninety-three percent of the men and 85 percent of the women said they got a huge amount of satisfaction from their work, and that it was a lot of fun. 

    In contrast, over the last decade, only 36 percent of American workers said they felt engaged with their work. This means that 64 percent of workers aren’t getting enough fun and satisfaction from their jobs! 

    There are huge benefits to our well-being when we enjoy our work. Not only can it improve our daily lives, but, as this research shows, it could also have a big impact on how long we live.

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    What is Wellbeing at Work about?

    Wellbeing at Work (2021) explores how the different spheres of our lives contribute to our overall sense of well-being. It also outlines how leaders can positively impact their employees’ well-being, and sheds light on the link between employee well-being and organizational success. 

    Wellbeing at Work Review

    Wellbeing at Work (2010) explores the importance of employee wellbeing and its impact on workplace productivity and success. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers practical strategies and insights on how to create a positive work environment, enhance employee engagement, and improve overall wellbeing.
    • Using extensive research data and case studies, the book convincingly demonstrates the tangible benefits of prioritizing employee wellbeing.
    • With its comprehensive approach to wellbeing, covering physical, mental, and social aspects, it presents a holistic perspective on creating healthy and thriving workplaces.

    Who should read Wellbeing at Work?

    • Stressed-out workers
    • Managers learning how to lead in a pandemic
    • Wellness enthusiasts looking for inspiration

    About the Author

    Jim Clifton is the chairman and CEO of Gallup, an analytics and advisory company. He’s also the author of the Wall Street Journal best seller It’s the Manager. 

    Jim Harter is Gallup’s Chief Scientist. During his time at Gallup, he’s led over one thousand studies of workplace effectiveness.

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    Wellbeing at Work FAQs 

    What is the main message of Wellbeing at Work?

    The main message of Wellbeing at Work is that prioritizing employee well-being leads to greater productivity and company success.

    How long does it take to read Wellbeing at Work?

    The reading time for Wellbeing at Work varies based on the reader, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Wellbeing at Work a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Wellbeing at Work is worth reading as it provides valuable insights on how to improve employee well-being and create a thriving work environment.

    Who is the author of Wellbeing at Work?

    The authors of Wellbeing at Work are Jim Clifton and Jim Harter.

    What to read after Wellbeing at Work?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Wellbeing at Work, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • It's the Manager by Jim Clifton
    • Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace by Gill Hasson
    • The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
    • First, Break all the Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
    • Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
    • Boost! by Michael Bar-Eli
    • Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
    • The Best Place to Work by Ron Friedman
    • Team Genius by Rich Karlgaard and Michael S. Malone
    • The Lemonade Life by Zack Friedman