NEW BOOK: Lessons from the pandemic on the value of workforce health


Why this book matters:


  1. Britain has a productivity problem. Our productivity shortfall is twice as severe as that of other G7 economies (UK at the bottom of the G7 and 17th of the G20 countries on productivity per capita).
  2. The pandemic put workplace health front and centre of the strategic business agenda but many businesses have yet to fully recognise the link between workplace health and productivity
  3. The Healthy Workforce: Enhancing Wellbeing and Productivity in the Workers of the Futureshows how workplace health is a key strategic issue; critical to productivity, business performance and to a flourishing society
  4. The work of world-leading authorities on HR and the workplace Professor Sir Cary Cooper and Stephen Bevan, and part of Emerald Publishing’s Future of Work series  


With 57% of all long term sickness absence at work due to stress, anxiety and depression and Covid cases  and deaths the highest in Europe, workforce health has the potential to derail Britain’s business recovery. Mental health, stress, musculoskeletal issues and chronic illness are the number one cause of absence from work and loss of productivity in most Western economies. New book “The Healthy Workforce: Enhancing Wellbeing and Productivity in the Workers of the Future” takes a long hard look at the impact of ill-health on the work place and particularly on productivity. Workforce wellbeing has long been recognised as an important retention issue – but the authors argue that more businesses need to wake up to its substantial impact on productivity. This important new book, from HR hard hitters Sir Cary Cooper and Stephen Bevan, explores how the Covid pandemic was the first time in living memory that the business community had to deal directly with the impact of a real-time threat to the health of their workforce. Suddenly workforce health was a strategic issue at the top of the senior management team agenda. HR and Occupational Health were catapulted to new prominence as businesses grappled to find ways to manage the health risk and keep their business moving forward. Research and public awareness of the epidemic of physical and mental ill-health among working age people is growing, but understanding of its impact on company performance and productivity and possible solutions for the future is less advanced. This timely and important book sets out why workforce health is such an important challenge for businesses, governments and for employees today and how this will increase in the future with an ageing workforce. It examines the new challenges of working from home, flexible working and the potential impact of these new ways of working on employees mental and muscular skeletal health. An essential read for business leaders and HR professionals, "The Healthy Workforce" offers practical guidance for professionals on getting started in the delivery of an effective and evidence-based workplace health plan which can enhance and sustain productivity growth in business now and for the future.

The Healthy Workforce: Enhancing Wellbeing and Productivity in the Workers of the Future by Prof Sir Cary Cooper and Stephen Bevan is part of Emerald Publishing’s The Future of Work series. Out Nov 15 priced £18.99.

Exclusive articles and interviews available:

Prof Sir Cary Cooper and Stephen Bevan  are world leaders in the field of work, employment and HR. They are available for interview, expert comment or guest articles including:


  1. Health and work in a pandemic – 5 lessons
  2. Workplace health interventions that work ( and don’t)
  3. Why your business needs a Chief Medical Officer
  4. Workforce health – risk or asset? How to build workplace resilience
  5. Are you on top of the new business fundamentals? Hybrid working, managers who can manage, 4 day week……
  6. Need higher productivity? Why occupational health is the place to look
  7. How to build a culture that maximises employee productivity
  8. Maximising employee health - Lessons from the pandemic
  9. The health risks of working from home – and what to do about them
  10. People skills vs tech skills – are your managers good enough?



For further information, a review copy, a guest article or an interview with the author, please contact: Teresa Richardson

Matt Davidson

Tel: 01497 288018

About the authors


Stephen Bevan

is Head of HR Research Development at the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) and was previously Director of Research and Managing Director at The Work Foundation.

Cary L. Cooper

is the 50th Anniversary Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at ALLIANCE Manchester Business School of the University of Manchester. He is President of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (HR professional body), President of the Institute of Welfare and Chair of the National Forum for Health and Wellbeing at Work.