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“Measuring” the Company's state of well-being

We all have a lot of things to juggle in life- family, friends, career; our health. And everything has its balance and it’s when we have too much of one thing and not enough of another that it really takes its toll on our state of well-being.

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The idea is that everybody updates a “wheel of life”, allowing them to rate and see the level that they’ve committed that month to a certain element of their life.It will be a type of “virtual wellness chart” for employees and their bosses alike.The wheel of life for each individual can remain private and seen only by them, but one big collective wheel can be displayed somewhere for all to see- this will take into account everyone’s personal balances, and average them to that of the workplace. This collective display does not single them out as “individuals” but measures them as a team, and should show them where some people need work and motivate them to improve together.


This concept could be used in any type of workplace, by any type of organisation. But a certain amount of participants would be best in order to make the most of the group wheel- maybe minimum 5. This could be particularly useful to any company wondering how their employees are doing, big or small.

In terms of technology the main tool in use here would be an app and a website to allow the employee to update on the go or at their desks. Therefore, a website and app design to be used on any smartphone would have to be developed. The visual layout can be editable by individuals to personalise their "space", via adding pictures, changing fonts, colours, size etc. As different people respond to different visualisations, allowing them to customise and add their own personal touch could encourage them to interact with it more.

The website could display tips related to each section, giving individuals help  and advice on how to improve their balance.
 I think it could also be interesting to allow people to input their own tips and opinions onto the site, so it could be a sort of forum where colleagues help each other. Employees could also voluntarily supply reasons for their ratings if they wish, this qualitative data could help the company know where they are going right/wrong. Data from the collective company wheel alert them on areas that seemingly need help and the company can then work on implementing new ideas/strategies for improving. 

Users would be introduced to it via their company. Bupa could send out starter packs to interested companies explaining how it works. A session can be held with all employees, explaining what it is and how it works, why they’re company is implementing it, teaching them how to use it and how to get the most out of it etc.

Building on what James proposes with his Glassdoor concept, companies could very well be interested in using data for PR purposes.This concept could be useful in this aspect as it shows a different side to the stats as many have mentioned to me- rather than concrete facts on how people are doing, it gives the perspective of a real individual. Data on physical well-being for example, may not necessarily reflect mental well-being  someone could be perfectly healthy at work but not necessarily happy. So comparing the wheels of companies gives a genuine insight into the feelings of the employees that work there. A better wheel for one company could be an incentive for a prospective employee to pick to work there: "company A’s employees seem to be more content in their life than company B, maybe I’d be happier there?" Therefore expanding this as a method used to compare companies could scale it and encourage more to take part. Results from his survey on sharing health data showed that 90% of those asked were willing to submit data anonymously, again another incentive in taking part is knowing that they're information is anonymous.

After much thought and some research I don't feel that automatic ways to fill in data would be necessary or valid in this case. This is due to the ratings being based on the individuals opinions of how they've done, and these can only be found out by the individual rating each category personally (any other thoughts on how to get around this are welcome). However, this shouldn't be a problem as the process of updating the wheels isn't a time consuming one and should only take a minute or two. 

In terms of cost, only a start-up cost to develop the app and website will be needed. It could very well run freely via sponsors/advertising. It's a possibility, and obviously these would be things related to the healthy life balance. So yoga classes, family vacations, deals on healthy meals etc. Anything in relation to health and well-being and improving the balance of the wheels. 

What are the benefits of your concept for the individual and the employer?

This system allows people to help each other to be better together, applying the idea that there is strength in unity and solidarity. Not only will it strengthen the relationships between co-workers as they help one another, but it will improve their quality of life and affect the people connected to each individual in a positive multiplier effect, as spending time with your family is improved, lifestyle is worked on, and so on. The employer would be more aware of the state of his employees in all aspects, all in easily recorded data form. It will show them where the problem areas lie, so they know which areas they can implement ideas into helping their employees. This in turn will give them a happier, healthier, more productive workforce.

What might the impact of your concept be and how might it be measured?

The wheel will be updated on a weekly basis, via phone app or PC, and the chart from the past week can be shown alongside it so people can see the positive or negative change that they've all, collectively, gone through. Each individual can be shown the difference their input made with an image of the chart before their data was added, and after. Employers can use the collected data from each week to also make note of the changes within the company- it will be very beneficial for them to analyse the change over the course of a few months, or a year, to see if a difference has been made. As the data is in a chart form it is easy to measure.

How might your concept be designed to scale and spread to reach as many people as possible?

There could be online notice boards where everybody can post up helpful ideas for one another. People can post up pictures of places they’ve visited with the kids, ideas for fun days out, cheap sites for theatre tickets, healthy recipes, local yoga classes etc. These tips could be displayed on screens around the workplace during working hours. And they can each use these tips and friendly advice to balance out their wheels. Family members and friends could contribute to the board- on a wider scale it could be a means to engage the whole community. The personal wellness chart app could be downloadable for just about anyone. It could be implemented on a personal level, or as a group, in the home, in classrooms etc.

How might you design a small experiment around your concept that would mobilise action?

The concept could be tested out on small company or within one department in a company. The data recorded in the balance wheels of individuals (remaining anonymous) and the group as a whole can be used to map out the change over the course of a few weeks, to see if there were any changes. Those taking part can also be questioned on whether or not the system had any positive effect on them.


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Hey there Asthma – If you're interested in pursuing your idea further, you might want to check out the Knight News Challenge. They're focusing on the topic of health and the winning entries will receive grant funding to bring ideas to life. You can check it out here

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