Work Wellness Institute Portal


5 things we think you should know about return to work

This short briefing from the Institute for Work & Health explains 5 key areas they think you should know about return to work. Including:
  • When designing a return-to-work program, ensure it offers support to the returning worker in three areas: health services, case coordination and work modification
  • Provide or support access to work-focused cognitive behavioural therapy to help workers with depression return to work
  • Support and train your supervisors to ensure they react with empathy upon hearing of a worker’s injury

Authors: Institute for Work & Health
Tags: disabilities, employment, return-to-work
Type: Tool

A clear business case for hiring aspiring workers: findings from a research project that looked at the costs and benefits of recruiting and retaining people living with mental illness

Labour shortages in Canada are projected to reach close to two million workers by 2031, costing the Canadian economy billions in lost GDP annually. Additionally, rising rates of absenteeism, presenteeism, and turnover are now requiring employers to use innovative ways to recruit and retain a qualified labour force. Most people living with a mental health problem or illness want to work and can make important contributions to the workforce if they are adequately supported. This report presents the business case for employers to actively recruit and accommodate people living with a mental illness through an in-depth examination of the financial, social and organizational costs and benefits. The focus is on Aspiring Workers, those people who, due to mental illness, have been unable to enter the workforce, who are in and out of the workforce due to episodic illness and are struggling to remain in the workplace, or who wish to return to work after a lengthy period of illness

Authors: Mental Health Commission of Canada
Tags: accommodation, cost effectiveness, human resources, mental health, recruitment
Type: Report
Topic: Mental Health

A practical toolkit to help employers build an inclusive workforce

This toolkit is meant to help human resources (HR) professionals and those with HR, wellness and diversity responsibilities increase accessibility and inclusiveness and address the needs of workers living with mental illness. Because recruitment, retention, and support policies and practices affect everyone, the toolkit draws on the insights of workers with experience of mental illness as well as their co-workers and managers. It is also informed by A Clear Business Case for Hiring Aspiring Workers, a multidisciplinary study from the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

Authors: Mental Health Commission of Canada
Tags: human resources, accessibility, diversity and inclusion, mental health, policy, open access
Type: Tool
Topic: Diversity and Inclusion

A quick start guide to preventing MSD

Small business owners and managers wear many hats and need to do everything, from payroll to sales. Back pain and other MSD are the biggest cause of pain and disability at work in Ontario and world-wide. The Quick Start Guide is a simple way to improve your workplace. It will improve the safety and health of your workers because work shouldn\'t hurt.

Authors: MSD Prevention
Tags: disabilities, musculoskeletal disorder, occupational health and safety, open access
Type: Report

A rapid review of mental and physical health effects of working at home: how do we optimise health?

Background: The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in changes to the working arrangements of millions of employees who are now based at home and may continue to work at home for the foreseeable future. Decisions on how to promote employees’ health whilst working at home (WAH) must be based on the best available evidence to optimise worker outcomes. The aim of this rapid review was to review the impact of WAH on individual workers’ mental and physical health, and determine any gender difference, to develop recommendations for employers and employees to optimise workers’ health.

Method: A search was undertaken in three databases, from 2007 to May 2020. Selection criteria included studies involving employees who regularly worked at home, and specifically reported on physical or mental health-related outcomes. Two review authors independently screened studies for inclusion, one author extracted data and conducted risk of bias assessments with review by a second author.

Results: Twenty-three papers meet the selection criteria for this review. Ten health outcomes were reported: pain, self-reported health, safety, well-being, stress, depression, fatigue, quality of life, strain and happiness. The impact on health outcomes was strongly influenced by the degree of organisational support available to employees, colleague support, social connectedness (outside of work), and levels of work to family conflict. Overall, women were less likely to experience improved health outcomes when WAH.

Conclusions: This review identified several health outcomes affected by WAH. The health/work relationship is complex and requires consideration of broader system factors to optimise the effects of WAH on workers’ health. It is likely mandated WAH will continue to some degree for the foreseeable future; organisations will need to implement formalised WAH policies that consider work-home boundary management support, role clarity, workload, performance indicators, technical support, facilitation of co-worker networking, and training for managers.

Authors: Jodi Oakman | Natasha Kinsman | Rwth Stuckey | Melissa Graham | Victoria Weale
Tags: remote work, employment, COVID-19, Pandemic, disruption to the workplace, mental health, occupational health and safety, open access
Type: Article
Topic: Disruption to the Workplace