Well-Being Intelligence: A Skill Set for the New World of Work
The rise in the number of sick days employees have been taking is becoming a concern in many developed countries.
In Sweden, the number of sick days per employee increased by one full day per year from 2021 to 2022.
In the U.S., the absenteeism rate is the highest it has been in a decade; in December 2022 alone, an estimated 1.5 million Americans missed work.
While ongoing waves of COVID-19 infections have played a role in absenteeism, there is also evidence of a rise in mental health issues, which were responsible for 20% of the sick days used in France in 2022 — an increase from 17% in 2021 and 15% in 2020.
For the National Health Service in the U.K., the cost of sick days related to mental health issues has doubled since the start of the pandemic, totaling nearly half a billion annually.
We propose the concept of well-being intelligence for managers as a skill set and tool to understand and improve their own and employees’ well-being.