Good work is an inherently ambiguous phrase. It names a vision for the future of the employment relationship that seeks to balance the interests of individuals, employers and society in order to deliver performance, engagement and fairness.
While there are different definitions of good work, some prioritising the interests of workers, others emphasising ethical considerations, the Commission approaches its brief with mutuality in mind – balancing the claims of the different stakeholders in work. Although interests are not identical, they also overlap to a considerable degree.
For employees, good work concerns the development of skills; choice, flexibility and control over working hours and the pace of work; trust, communication and the ability to have a say in decisions that affect them; and a balance between effort and reward.
From a business perspective, good work is productive and efficient; aims to involve and engage employees; and to encourage their contribution to organisational success. And from a society perspective, good work is socially aware, ethical, and sustainable.