Well-being and the social environment of work: A systematic review of intervention studies

Kevin Daniels, David Watson, Cigdem Gedikli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
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There is consistent evidence that a good social environment in the workplace is associated with employee well-being. However, there has been no specific review of interventions to improve well-being through improving social environments at work. We conducted a systematic review of such interventions, and also considered performance as an outcome. We found eight studies of interventions. Six studies were of interventions that were based on introducing shared social activities into workgroups. Six out of the six studies demonstrated improvements in well-being across the sample (five studies), or for an identifiable sub-group (one study). Four out of the five studies demonstrated improvements in social environments, and four out of the five studies demonstrated improvements in indicators of performance. Analysis of implementation factors indicated that the interventions based on shared activities require some external facilitation, favorable worker attitudes prior to the intervention, and several different components. We found two studies that focused on improving fairness perceptions in the workplace. There were no consistent effects of these interventions on well-being or performance. We conclude that there is some evidence that interventions that increase the frequency of shared activities between workers can improve worker well-being and performance. We offer suggestions for improving the evidence base.
Original languageEnglish
Article number918
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2017


  • employee well-being
  • job satisfaction
  • social environments
  • fairness

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