Work is a key social determinant of population health and well-being. Yet, efforts to improve worker well-being in the United States are often focused on changing individual health behaviors via employer wellness programs. The COVID-19 health crisis has brought into sharp relief some of the limitations of current approaches, revealing structural conditions that heighten the vulnerability of workers and their families to physical and psychosocial stressors.
To address these gaps, the authors of this article build on existing frameworks and work redesign research to propose a model of work redesign updated for the 21st century that identifies strategies to reshape work conditions that are a root cause of stress-related health problems. These strategies include increasing worker schedule control and voice, moderating job demands, and providing training and employer support aimed at enhancing social relations at work. The authors conclude that work redesign offers new and viable directions for improving worker well-being and that guidance from federal and state governments could encourage the adoption and effective implementation of such initiatives.