649 ‘work and no play made jack a dull boy’. joining the dots between work and ‘play’ for increased staff productivity


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Abstract

IntroductionThe world of work in Uganda, and world over, is fast changing, presenting new opportunities, new work options and new psychosocial challenges. Today’s workplace characterised by varying Individual roles, high Job expectations, limited human interactions and need for softer skills; requires employers and employees to be adaptable to change hence remain competitive and productive. These changing realities and subsequent challenges require effective systems to address psychosocial challenges. Comparative study was done on selected formal workplaces to identify emerging workplace challenges and how employee well-being is addressed.MethodsComparative study of Uganda’s population statistics, demographical surveys and data from the selected formal workplaces, was done involving both qualitative and quantitative research methods used simultaneously. This study involved the triangulation of data sources and research methods so as to identify measures instituted by selected workplaces to improve working conditions and highlight best practices that could be adopted by other workplaces to address emerging workplace psychosocial challenges.ResultsBased on UN Statistics Division’s demographic and social statistics, 2016 Uganda’s population of 40,953,469 people, (50% females), has working population (15–64 years), of 19,687,561 persons (48%). Workforce participation of women is 50% (Uganda’s Labour Market Information System)An estimated 7 16 000 people (49% of which are female) employed in public service represent 4.5% of adult population (Labour Market Profile, 2016). Of the selected formal workplaces, it 85% of the workplaces with programs beyond routine work activities e.g. exercise programs posted significantly lower work-related complaints and higher employee morale than those that did not.DiscussionFormal workplaces in Uganda need to identify these new workplace challenges and design appropriate on and off job measures to address these psychosocial challenges. Employers too should go the extra mile to get the employees buy-in into the programs instituted, so that the intended purpose of the programs can be effectively achieved.

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