Using the 5 Ways to Wellbeing Framework for Better Mental Health and Wellbeing at Work

April 27, 2023
 a woman working on her disk and giving attention to the present moment

In our modern, fast-paced world, it can often feel like there isn’t time to accomplish everything within a 24-hour day. And when that feeling takes over, it can lead us to neglect our own wellbeing and put us on a path to elevated stress and burnout. If an organization is you’ hoping you can get the best out of stressed and burned-out employees, we have bad news for you.

So it is in both the employee’s and employer’s interest to take wellbeing seriously. And you can start that process with the five ways to wellbeing report framework to better manage mental health and wellbeing at work and at home. 

What is the “Five Ways to Wellbeing” report? 

The Five Ways to Wellbeing report consists of five evidence-based actions put together by the New Economics Foundation. The authors conclude raising your wellbeing and mental is heavily influenced by connecting with other people, finding accessible ways to be physically active, learning new skills, giving to others, and being mindful. 

Together, these five areas can positively change the way you feel about life and approach challenges. The effects can impact every aspect of life. Especially work. 

Using Five Ways of Wellbeing as a framework for employee wellbeing 

Evidence suggests there are 5 ways of wellbeing that can boost your self-esteem, increase your mindfulness, and positively change your attitude. Read on to learn about each of these initiatives in more detail.

1. Connect

We live in a world with no shortage of ways to connect to people. You can text, call, zoom, email, chat, or even kick it old school and meet up IRL. All of those moments and interactions combine to build camaraderie, trust, and understanding. They connect people. 

And at work, the strength of that connection comes to life every day — in problem-solving, collaborating on larger team projects, and simply getting to know your co-workers as people. All of those connections change the entire workplace’s wellbeing. They create community. And they’re central to organizational outcomes like engagement, productivity, and quality of work. 

a woman sharing her work thoughts and feelings with her teammate

Connecting at work is especially important for managers and employees. It’s a pivotal relationship at work that can blossom into mentorship and help employees grow. A tool like Conversations® combines agile performance development with structured feedback to create a culture of connection, continuous feedback, and employee growth.

2. Be physically active

Physical health goes a long way in improving overall wellbeing. The release of endorphins while exercising does wonders for your overall mood and mentality

a man spending time developing his work

And that physical activity doesn’t need to come in the form of two-hour gym sessions to reap the benefits. It’s all about finding what’s accessible and what can be made consistent. A few stretches or a walk around the office can refresh your circulation and reduce risks associated with prolonged sitting. 

There are various fitness and wellbeing activities inside or outside the office. Workhuman, for example, hosts a “March Miles” initiative every year that allows employees to shake off the winter blues and get moving in the springtime.  The goal, whether you’re participating as a solo employee or as part of a team, is to reach 100 miles by the end of March through any movement-based activity (walking, running, cycling, swimming, skiing/snowboarding, etc.). Again, it’s about what’s accessible for each employee. 

3. Take notice

We often find ourselves dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. However, your wellbeing is best served by living in the present moment. 

Be deliberate about pausing throughout the day to take notice of everything around you. Notice the changes in your home, your life, your workplace, and the world you live in. Dacher Keltner, a professor at UC Berkley, talks about the power of awe for wellbeing and how it can be achieved simply by looking up at the tops of trees for a few minutes.

Organizations can promote mindfulness by encouraging breaks and time off, setting up rooms in the office dedicated to taking a breather throughout the day, and through leading by example.  

4. Keep learning

Constantly learning new skills keeps your brain healthy and active. What you learn doesn’t necessarily have to be job-related. You can pick up a hobby or learn a new language.

Organizations can develop learning programs for employees that improve both their work and non-work-related skills. And both matter. Ultimately, building a more well-rounded knowledge can contribute to and positively influence employee engagement and productivity.

an employee keeps learning from her mentor

5. Give to others

Random acts of kindness can create a ripple effect of positivity around you and improve your mental wellbeing. It doesn’t have to be something big or even “something” at all. Giving a few minutes of your time to listen to someone or help them with an issue is a generous act that can make a big difference in someone’s day and it can make you feel good, too.

When it comes to buoying employees in the workplace, one of the best ways to improve wellbeing is to simply recognize employees for who they are and what they bring to the table. Giving gratitude and recognizing hard work can go a long way in retaining employees and keeping them happy. One of the best ways you can do that is through Social Recognition®


There’s a correlation between the way someone feels in their life overall and the way they feel at work.  One influences the other.  That’s why it’s important to foster wellbeing both in and outside of the office, and the Five Ways of Wellbeing framework can be a useful tool for organizations looking to build positivity overall.

The 5 Ways of Wellness framework is simple enough to implement at any organization. So, if you have already been encouraging employees to do one or two of these things, stacking them together can improve their mentality and your business metrics.