A New Work Wellness Model, Eh?

All the way from the Surgeon General.

Ted Bauer
5 min readDec 8, 2022


Here is the full report. You can also see some analysis in Stowe Boyd’s newsletter. It feels like a new “comprehensive take” on work-life balance and work wellness comes out every 4–5 years. If you’re one of the 12 people in America who follows wellness tech brands on Instagram, you might see some reports come out more frequently. I don’t know your life.

As you can see, the five “pillars” are:

  • Protection from harm
  • Opportunities for growth
  • Mattering at work
  • Work-life harmony, which is supposedly the new term for work-life balance
  • Connection and community

Hmmm. OK. Let’s go one-by-one on these.

Protection from harm

In the physical sense, yes. There are in-office shootings, although somewhat rare, and most mid- to large-sized places have corporate security. I think you are generally going to be physically safe from harm in an office, and ideally if you’re remote or hybrid, same.

Now, protection from emotional harm is essentially “psychological safety,” which Google and a couple of academics and long-form journalists have been discussing since 2010. I don’t think that’s common in many workplaces. It’s more common on teams with functional managers, even if it’s not common at the organizational level. Lots of people cry at, or because of, work. Emotions run rampant, even if we want the places to be process-driven. So no, I don’t think you’re protected from emotional harm at the highest level. If your boss is self-aware and functional and not a calendar slave, then yes.

Opportunities for growth

Usually when people say this, they mean “financially.” We all know about stagnant wages and CEO-base worker ratios. None of that looks good. Lemme drop a Vox video here.



Ted Bauer

Mostly write about work, leadership, friendship, masculinity, male infertility, and some other stuff along the way. It's a pleasure to be here.