Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

A framework to address stress and improve productivity of project teams

Rashad Issa, Yu-Chun Pan


Addressing stress at work is a topic that is being added to the agenda of many organisations. There are various sources of stress that could impact an individual. Whether it is personal relationships, physical health concerns, mental health issues or professional relationships at a work, an individual’s productivity will be affected. Employees who work in a project environment are already succumbed to the constraints of time and budget. The topic of employee wellbeing is under research for several years, and there are several solutions available and initiatives implemented within global organisations to enhance their team’s wellbeing. Therefore, there is a need for a project management framework that also take employee wellbeing into consideration. This paper reviews the literature on employee wellbeing and some of the most commonly applied project management frameworks, namely Project Management Institute (PMI), the Association of Project Management (APM) and PRojects IN Controlled Environments (PRINCE2). As a result, a practical guideline is proposed to embed employee wellbeing into the project management book of knowledge (PMBOK Guide) of PMI, incorporating three key process and supporting tools and techniques.


Project Management; Employee Wellbeing; Human Resource Management; Productivity, PMI, Knowledge Areas


Abu Al Rub, R. F. (2004). Job stress, job performance, and social support among hospital nurses. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 36(1), 73–78

AFH, (2019). Action for Happiness Charity, https://www.actionforhappiness.org

Alge. B.J., Wiethoff, C., Klein, H.J. (2003). When does the medium matter? Knowledge-building experiences and opportunities in decision-making teams. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 91, pp. 26-37 doi: https://doi-org.ezproxy.uwl.ac.uk/10.1016/S0749-5978(02)00524-1

Ali, N.M and Liu, K. (2009). Understanding Organisational Morphology for Knowledge Management, 2009 Second International Symposium on Knowledge Acquisition and Modeling, Wuhan, 2009, pp. 194-198. doi: 10.1109/KAM.2009.314

Ameli, P., Kayes, C. (2011) Triple‐loop learning in a cross‐sector partnership: The DC Central Kitchen partnership, The Learning Organization, Vol. 18 Issue: 3, pp.175-188, doi: https://doi-org.ezproxy.uwl.ac.uk/10.1108/09696471111123243

APM, (2018). Body of Knowledge Definitions, UK, Association of Project Management

Ashdown, L., (2018). Performance Management: A Practical Introduction. UK, Kogan Page Publishers.

Bang, H., Won, D., Kim, Y. (2009). Motivations, commitment, and intentions to continue volunteering for sporting events. Event Management, 13, pp. 69-81 doi: https://doi.org/10.3727/152599509789686317

BBC, 2018. Poor Mental Health at work Widespread. British BroadCasting Corporation: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-45470517

Bean, S., (2018). Workplace Health and Wellbeing Initiatives do not go Far Enough, Workplace Insight Website: https://workplaceinsight.net/workplace-health-and-well-being-initiatives-dont-go-far-enough-say-employees/ (accessed Nov 21, 2018).

Bell, S. Phoenix, C., Lovell, R., Wheeler, B. (2015). Seeking everyday wellbeing: the coast as a therapeutic landscape. Social Science and Medicine Journal doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.08.011g Volume 142, October 2015, Pages 56-67

Black, C. (2008). “Working for a healthier tomorrow: review of the health of Britain’s working-age population”, available at: www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/hwwb-working-for-a-healthier- tomorrow.pdf (accessed Nov, 2018)

Boyle, T. (2016). ISO45001 Intended Outcome, Hastam Trusted Safety Expertise Blog. Accessed July, 2019 https://www.hastam.co.uk/iso45001intendedoutcome/

Brown, D. Triggle N. (2018). Mental Health: 10 Charts on the scale of the problem, BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41125009

Carmichael, F., Sarah-Jane, H.F., Pinilla-Roncancio, M., Sing, M. and Sadhra, S., (2016). Workplace health and wellbeing in construction and retail. International Journal of Workplace Health Management, 9(2), pp. 251-268.

Collin, M. (2019). One-on-ones are my most valuable meetings; here’s how I run them. The Startup on Medium https://medium.com/swlh/one-on-ones-are-my-most-valuable-meetings-heres-how-i-run-them-d9ae7c64dade accessed July 2019.

Colombo, V. and Gallego, E.C., (2012). THE IMPORTANCE OF RECOVERY FROM WORK: A REVIEW OF WHERE, HOW AND WHY. Papeles del Psicólogo, 33(2), pp.129-137.

Corbin, C.B., Pangrazi, R.P. and Franks, B.D., (2000). Definitions: Health, fitness, and physical activity. President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Research Digest.

Correa-Velez, I., Gifford, S.M. and Barnett, A.G., (2010). Longing to belong: Social inclusion and wellbeing among youth with refugee backgrounds in the first three years in Melbourne, Australia. Social science & medicine, 71(8), pp.1399-1408.

Costa, C.A., Chalip, L., Green, C.B., Simes, C. (2006). Reconsidering the role of training in event volunteers’ satisfaction. Sport Management Review, 9, pp. 165-182. Doi: https://doi-org.ezproxy.uwl.ac.uk/10.1016/S1441-3523(06)70024-9

Coyle, D., Thieme, A., Linehan, C., Balaam, M., Wallace, J., Lindly, S., (2014). Emotional Wellbeing. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Volume 72, Issues 8–9, August–September 2014, Pages 627-628 doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhcs.2014.05.008

Egeland, B., (2017). I can tell you why many projects fail, APM Blog, accessed July 26th, 2019: https://www.apm.org.uk/blog/i-can-tell-you-why-many-projects-fail/

European Standards 45001:2018, CEN, Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems

Gregor, S. and Hevner, A.R., (2013). Positioning and presenting design science research for maximum impact. MIS quarterly, 37(2).

Hayes, J. (2018). The Theory and Practice of Change Management. 5th edn. UK: Palgrave Higher Ed M.U.A.

Huber, M., Knottnerus, J.A., Green, L., van der Horst, H., Jadad, A.R., Kromhout, D., Leonard, Leonard, B., Judad, A., Lorig, K., Loureiro, M.I., van der Meer, J.W. and Schnabel, P., (2011). How should we define health?. Bmj, 343, p.d4163. doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d4163

Johns, T. and Gratton, L. (2013), “The third wave of virtual work”, Harvard Business Review, pp. 1-9, available at: https://hbr.org/2013/01/the-third-wave-of-virtual-work/

JP Morgan, (2019). JP Morgan COrporate Challenge, UK. https://www.jpmorganchasecc.com/city/london/event-details

Laidler, C. (2018). Why wellbeing must start from day one. Occupational Health & Wellbeing, 70(6), 9. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.uwl.ac.uk/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/2125229821?accountid=14769

Lee, Y., Milyang, K., Koo, J. (2016). The impact of social interaction and team member exchange on sport event volunteer management. Sport Management Review, volume 9, issue 5 p550 doi: https://doi-org.ezproxy.uwl.ac.uk/10.1016/j.smr.2016.04.005

Marshall, A. & Elghossain, N. (2014), "Trust Within Government", Public Manager, vol. 43, no. 4, pp. 58-60.

Maslow, A.H., (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological review, 50(4), p.370.

Matos, S. and Lopes, E., 2013. Prince2 or PMBOK–a question of choice. Procedia Technology, 9, pp.787-794.

Mental Health Foundation, (2019). Mental Health Statistics: Results: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-stress (accessed: 23rd March 2019)

MHC, (2019). Mental Health UK Charity, https://mentalhealth-uk.org/training-and-consultancy/

Misselbrook D. (2014). W is for wellbeing and the WHO definition of health. The British journal of general practice : the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners, 64(628), 582. doi:10.3399/bjgp14X682381

ONS, (2018). UK labour market: November 2018, Office of National Statistics

Peffers, K., Tuunanen, T., Rothenberger, M., Chatterjee, S. (2014) A Design Science Research Methodology of Information System, Journal of Management Information Systems, 24:3, 45-77 doi: https://doi.org/10.2753/MIS0742-1222240302

PMI, (2017) A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)–Sixth Edition. US, Project Management Institute

PRINCE2, (2017), Managing Successful Project, Prince 2. UK, Axelos

Scott, K. (2018). 50% consider cost perception as the biggest barrier to workplace wellbeing. Employee Benefits, Retrieved from http://ezproxy.uwl.ac.uk/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1990622097?accountid=14769

Simpson, M. (2012). Sustainable wellbeing. Training Journal, , 66-69. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.uwl.ac.uk/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1010823426?accountid=14769

Stan, O. M. (2018). STEPS TOWARDS SUSTAINABILITY - HUMAN RESOURCE CAPITAL AND EMPLOYEE WELLBEING – BENCHMARKING EVIDENCE. Economics, Management and Financial Markets, 13(3), 290-300. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.uwl.ac.uk/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/2116360562?accountid=14769

Stevenson, A. ed., (2010). Oxford dictionary of English. Oxford University Press, USA.

Tarafdar, M., Tu, Q., Ragu-Nathan, B., & Ragu-Nathan, T. (2007). The Impact of Technostress on Role Stress and Productivity. Journal of Management Information Systems, 24(1), 301-328. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.uwl.ac.uk/stable/40398890

UK Government, (2019), Incorporated Companies in the UK: October to December 2018. Companies House. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/incorporated-companies-in-the-uk-october-to-december-2018/incorporated-companies-in-the-uk-october-to-december-2018

Vakkayil, J. Torre, E, Giangrecor, A., (2017), ‘It's not how it looks! Exploring managerial perspectives on employee wellbeing’,

European Management Journal, Page 548-562 doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.emj.2016.12.002

Vitality, (2019). Vitality Corporate Services Limited, UK. https://www.vitality.co.uk

Webber, A. (2018). Employees taking less time off, yet costing employers more. Personall Today, UK. https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/average-number-of-sick-days-fell-to-5-6-per-employee-last-year/

WHO, (2002). Active Ageing: A policy framework. WHO/ NMH/NPH/02.8. Geneva: World Health Organisation.

WPO, (2019). Workplace Options www.workplaceoptions.co.uk

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.


The Journal of Modern PM (ISSN: 2317-3963) | info@journalmodernpm.com