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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.

Photo of Asma B
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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.

REFINEMENT: 


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.

Evaluation results

9 evaluations so far

1. Is this concept addressing clear health needs for users?

Indeed! It’s addressing an unmet need in a new way - 55.6%

Yep – it’s addressing a need but in an already crowded space - 33.3%

It’s not clear to see how this idea would significantly improve people’s health - 11.1%

2. Overall how do you feel about this concept?

This concept rocked my world - 33.3%

I liked it but prefered others - 55.6%

It didn't get my overly excited. - 11.1%

3. Does this concept feel like it could potentially be sustained as a business or movement over years rather than just months?  Does it feel like it will continue to be relevant in the future?

This concept has enough momentum to stand on its own two feet and remain relevant for years to come - 11.1%

It’s not clear how long it would take for this concept to stand on its own feet or how it will continue – but there’s reason to feel hopeful - 55.6%

This concept may have trouble sustaining itself in the long-run and stay relevant - 33.3%

4. How easy would it be for people to get involved and improve their health with this idea?

Very easy. It's clear how people could get involved quickly in this concept - 66.7%

I'm not sure if I can grasp how people could get involved easily - 22.2%

It seems challenging for people to get involved quickly in this concept - 11.1%

5. Does this concept have the potential to reach large numbers of people?

Sure. I could imagine this would spread like wild fire - 22.2%

It's interesting but feels like it would be slow or challenging to grow - 66.7%

It seems somewhat limited in scope - 11.1%

55 comments

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Comment
Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

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 http://kng.ht/1aunB0h.

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

OMG! This is an auto-correct blunder. I meant Asma of course!

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Awesome idea! I think this could be a very constructive reality check! I wonder if GPS location could be a useful tool in auto-filling data? (how much time spent at work, home, gym, other one-time identified locations)
I realize there could be a lot of employee-employer privacy issues with this idea but I'd be interested to see where I spent my time if the info was kept private to me! It might also help the user to populate truthfully.

Photo of Asma B
Team

Thanks Victoria! That's an interesting point you've made- you're right that it could possibly have privacy issues, but I like what you're suggesting so there could be a way around that. I'll think on it! :)

Photo of Matt Lutze
Team

Neat idea!

Concerning the privacy of the GPS-enabled tool, the specific data could be kept by "WellBeing App, Inc." at a site separate from the employer. The employer could be given only the anonymized data, not including locations. This way, the user could set up GPS "zones" where the application would automatically register them as being at home, the gym, at the office, commuting potentially if routes were set up. At the same time, the user could be comfortable knowing that their company wouldn't be able to look into the data on the site and find them.

In fact, sign up for an employee could be relatively anonymous, as well. The employee doesn't need to give personally-identifiable information, and can be associated with their company through a single company key. This way, an employee that wants a truly anonymous experience but still wants to contribute to the benefit of their coworkers can have a blind between them and WellBeing.

This would also remove some of the socio-operational barriers to adoption. It is difficult to get any person to add extra tasks to their schedule. Getting people to try a new application, however, is much easier, and automated recording of the basic level of information is both effortless and has a low conceptual cost to participation.

By which I mean to say, would improve chances someone would sign up, turn on auto-logging, and then would be helping contribute data whether they microblogged in the app often or not.

Photo of James Robertson
Team

Hey Asma,

I have put together a quick Survey for the comparative element of my 'Glassdoor for Health and Fitness App'. A bit of the content is derived from building on your above concept. Will be happy to share all the data with you when (if!) it starts rolling in. Would be great if you could help spread the link to this survey too! Many thanks!

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KFQPNGT

Photo of Asma B
Team

Great idea James! Will do that right now!

Photo of James Robertson
Team

Hey Asma, I've published the Survey results on my Glassdoor page, hope they can be of help to you too. I found them pretty encouraging :)

Photo of Asma B
Team

Thanks James, great job with the data visualisations :)

Photo of Yin San T
Team

Really cool idea! Your images explains everything clearly!

Photo of Asma B
Team

Thank you Yin San :)

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

I agree with Yin San, the pictures say it all. Good work

Photo of Asma B
Team

Thanks Andrea!

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Love this idea. My only suggestion would be to allow "anonymous" entries to the data set. Otherwise, it might be one of those all-wonderful, no-problems kind of business assessments.

Photo of Asma B
Team

Thanks Jim. I agree completely, the information of each employee definitely needs to be kept anonymous or honesty would be a problem.

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

This is my favourite idea. As an analyst, it appeals to me because I first want a tool which will help me to understand the specific problem for the specific group of people. From that understanding, I can then make recommendations on actions to alter the situation.

Photo of Asma B
Team

Thank you James! I had hoped for it to be a tool that would display the problems in order for a solution to be more easily determined, so I'm glad you think it could work :)

Photo of James Robertson
Team

Hey Asma, James, this is a great angle. Painting a scenrio for a minute, perhaps over time companies (or divisions, teams) can have a look for overall trends in work-life balance, and do some data-mining to see whether the ups and downs were the result of externalities or what has gone on at work.

In both cases, management can adapt their planning to ensure a more adjusted work-life balance and happier employees. There could be obvious external factors like the school holidays causing more stress for parents - perhaps parents can have their project allocations adjusted and be flexible/closer to home over certain periods.

In the case of announcements or reorganisations at work proving stressful, perhaps companies will see the need for clearer consulting, explanation and transparency.

There are hundreds of ways this data could be used to effect positive change...Would be great to get more direction on refining from a statistician's viewpoint!

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

I like this concept a lot. It would allow indidividuals to keep updated with themselves and reassured that they're okay, and not too stressed out. Which of course is really important, especially when an employee has a heavy work load, because it can really take its toll, and they can often lose their balance.

Photo of Asma B
Team

Thanks for the feedback Liam!

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congrats on being shortlisted to the Top 20 for our Workplace Wellness Challenge!

Our expert panel could see connections to the Glassdoor and Well Days concepts – and liked how they've outlined the ways people would be evaluated. Perhaps you could reach out to those concept authors and get them involved in your Virtual Team. How might you make it easier to collect and record this data, without relying on people filling it in themselves? Look for inspiration at automatic expenses apps for instance.

Read more on how to get involved with our Refinement phase: http://bit.ly/oi_refine And here's some tips on refining specifically for this challenge: http://bit.ly/wellwork-tips Ready, steady, refine!

Photo of Asma B
Team

Thank you, it's an honour! :)

And thank you for the tips, will definitely take those on board and work on refining the concept!

Photo of Paul Ecclestone-Brown
Team

Simple to view - how easy is it to populate truthfully? Or is it all about stakeholder perceptions rather than actual concrete fact?

Photo of Gaia Montelatici
Team

I find this to be a dilemma, often!!!! and I often ask myself what is actually the borderline between "concrete facts" and "stakeholder perceptions"...or better yet, what is actually more "significant" or "relevant in the specific situation? Sorry, it is not my intention to open a philosophical discussion...In whichever way, it seems to me here that team and individual "perception" of the (un)balanced relationships between the various spheres actually does affect the various dimensions of health

Photo of Paul Ecclestone-Brown
Team

The philosophy of most wellbeing issues do surround perception as we are all predominantly emotional. We like to think that we are logical and make decisions based on fact, but our perception is limited by our senses so perception rules, I guess.

This tool is good to reveal what people think to management, not just what they perceive (through the management filters) the workforce thinks.

Good job

Photo of Asma B
Team

You're right about individual's perceptions being the main thing taken into account here rather than concrete fact. But, as Gaia pointed out the perceptions of the employee on whether or not they're happy is definitely the most relevant issue in this specific situation.
And as you stated Paul, perception definitely rules when it comes to human emotions!

Thanks to both of you for taking the time to offer your thoughts :)

Photo of Adam Wallat
Team

I really like this concept. Since wellbeing is a not a clearly defined state of mind, it will vary from person to person and even from one moment to the other. So by using the life wheel tool, people will get a much more visual response which in my opinion should be used as an inspirational tool for the company and the employes alike. Have you ever thought about adding more than 4 areas to the life wheel? And maybe the system can generate suggestions on how to achieve more balance for the single user and for the overall wellbeing of the company. Just some suggestions that came to my mind when i read your concept. :)

I found this link in my bookmarks. They allow you too enter your own areas which has the advantage of individual life wheel creation. Might get in the way of a corporate wellbeing status though.

http://www.worklifebalancecentre.org
You can find the the life wheel under the interact headline.

Photo of Gaia Montelatici
Team

Very engaging concept Asma and congrats for the refinement phase :) Awesome site, Adam and very related to this concept, it seems to me! The life-wheel test could be integrated into this system and actually slightly re-tailored to fit the purpose here...It is in the best interest of the company/corporation/firm/office to show positive indicators that "measure" satisfaction of employees with the work environment, for both productivity and PR purposes. In case the indicators are not as positive, then it could be interesting to increase the accountability of the office/firm/companies. They could take concrete steps to re-balance the life-work-wheel...

Photo of Asma B
Team

Thank you both for the thoughts and input! And thanks for sharing the link Adam! I love the website- the thought you mentioned "maybe the system can generate suggestions on how to achieve more balance for the single user and for the overall wellbeing of the company." I briefly mentioned creating online noticeboards that would have helpful tips like that in the concept, so I'll look further into that.
The 4 titles I chose for the wheel spokes were just what came off the top of my head at the time, so I agree that they could probably be more areas to it! It would definitely get a bit complicated in terms of measuring the overall wellbeing if people picked their own headings. But maybe the company could get their employees to come up with suggestions and pick the most common ones? Do you have any suggestions for what areas would be interesting to measure?

You're right Gaia it really does fit in with this concept. It hadn't actually occurred to me that one of the benefits for companies could be using it for PR purposes too, so thanks for pointing that out! It could be a real incentive for them to went to take part and invest in the satisfaction of their employees.

Photo of Janet Tam
Team

love the concept!!!
well presented!!
the image just explained everything!!!

Photo of Asma B
Team

Thanks Janet!

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Really nice idea Asma. Great image hacks, I really like the pictures they explain your idea completely.

Photo of Asma B
Team

Thanks Chris! :)

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

I really like this concept, mainly because i myself am looking at visualizing data in the workplace and i really like your take on "the well being of the company". Understanding the individual wellness of your employees is key to creating and sustaining a successful business.

One thing to consider is how honestly people will fill out this data. If the input data is not sincere then the visual output will be irrelevant.

Great concept and visualizations none the less Asma!

Photo of Asma B
Team

Thanks Julian! I've just had a look at your concept and I love the team data visualisation idea!

You're right about that, it did worry me at first- it does rely heavily on the assumption that people would be honest with their inputs. However, I'm hoping that knowing that their own personal inputs would be kept private would be incentive enough for people to be honest- as there would be no fear of being individually judged. What do you think?

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Great! Thanks! I see the angle where your coming from about peoples inputs being private and therefore being honest, but at the same time I think knowing peoples personal well being is just as important as an company well being. Perhaps only higher management or an unbiased third party could monitor individuals well being, whilst an overall rating was public?

Photo of Asma B
Team

Good point Julian- I like the idea of an unbiased 3rd party, not so much higher management as nobody is likely to be honest if the big bosses get to see! But they'd still have to be a way to make their information anonymous, unless they didn't mind, as taking the privacy aspect away might deter people from using it altogether. But you've given me points to definitely think about!

Photo of Alex Cole
Team

Great piece of work Asma, the combining of current technologies (ie the smartphone) and bringing workers together at the same time letting the employer know what is going on is impressive.

Great visuals too, good work!

Photo of Asma B
Team

Thanks Alex!

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Nice work Asma, I especially like the experiment stage, recording into balance wheels would look visually impressive and also easy to read in terms of understanding the change.

Photo of Asma B
Team

Thank you Charlie!

Photo of Dalv Mac
Team

This concept has caught my eye since the pinning up at Middlesex. This is a great concept, bringing the company wellness altogether but also making each individuals wellness wheel private. The employees will feel part of the group and community as they are all working towards the same goal.

Photo of Asma B
Team

Thanks Dalv, I'm glad you think so! Making sure that there's no singling out of any individual is a way to hopefully bring colleagues together. And encouraging them to strive towards a common goal will instil some team spirit within the workplace.

Photo of Dalv Mac
Team

Spot on, well done with this one Asma.

Photo of Asma B
Team

Thanks again!

Photo of Nihal Islam
Team

I love this concept! Great choice of images too. Well done Asma!

Photo of Asma B
Team

Thanks Nihal!

Photo of Dalv Mac
Team

A great use of images to explain the whole concept overall. Checking the previous weeks against the current week.

Photo of Asma B
Team

Thank you. It should be a useful way to look back and track your progress over time!

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Good concept Asma. It’s a very interesting concept for this challenge. I really like the fact how you can have your own wheel of life chart but in the end everyone comes together as a team to help each other out.

Photo of Asma B
Team

Thank you Gul! I thought it was really important to put an emphasis on teamwork in this concept, in bringing the workplace together to achieve a common goal.

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Great idea Asma, I think it is particularly important not to single people out in this instance. The collected data visualisation is a great way of presenting the overall wellness of the working community. It would be great to make the system even more personalised on an individual level. Visual themes and so on. Although people like to feel a part of something they also value independence and so perhaps there could be some ways of implementing customisation for each individual.

Photo of Asma B
Team

Thanks Jack! It would definitely be interesting to make it more personalised. The above diagram is just a rough overview of what it could look like but it could use some work in terms of customisation. Incorporating different themed diagrams would be cool. allowing them to change colours, fonts etc. Different people respond to different visuals so you've really made a good point here. Thanks for the input

Photo of Megan Harley
Team

Great concept! I particularly like the fact that the employees' have their own individual wheel and can track their own commitments and not feel singled out or pressured. The employers may also find this interesting being able to see how their employees are doing, and the employees being able to see the whole workforces combined wheel to help depict the strengths and weakness of the workforce overall. Good work

Photo of Asma B
Team

Thanks Megan! I wanted to emphasise that point because sometimes people feel burdened if they're individually singled out- as some will obviously do better than others. Keeping everybody's balances personal takes way the element of stress that competing with their peers could bring.