Triple dividend

Think tank: Pro Bono Economics

Author(s): Jon Franklin; Rachel Gomez; Taran Uppal

April 25, 2024

This report from UK think tank Pro Bono Economics looks at how workplace volunteering can make us happier, healthier and more productive.

Employers are struggling to find solutions to boost both their employees’ wellbeing and their productivity, as the UK economy fights to pull itself out of the doldrums.

Growth is sluggish at best, and the nation’s failing health is holding it back. The number of lost working days due to sickness absence has risen dramatically since the pandemic and this has significant costs for employers. The total cost of sickness absence to UK employers was around £24 billion in 2022.

Workplace volunteering – where employers use policies and processes to support their employees to participate in volunteering during work time – offers a potential triple dividend that could help to tackle this challenge: it can help employees’ wellbeing; support higher productivity for employers; and help charities to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society.

Yet between 17 million and 23 million employees do not have access to workplace volunteering opportunities. If these opportunities could be rolled out to these employees, then it could support between 1.5 million and 2.8 million additional people to participate in workplace volunteering.