Workplace Relationships Can Boost Your Health

Workplace RelationshipsSome people love their jobs. Getting up and heading to work is something they look forward to. Others moan and groan about another day at work. It’s just no fun and it stresses them out, even though their skills are a perfect fit. 

Depending on which category you fall into, you could either be boosting your health or working your way toward burnout. But what is it that can make one job so much better than another?

A new analysis of 68 studies finds that the answer is relatively simple. It depends on how strongly we identify with the people and company we work for.

The data came from over 19,000 people across the globe. And it’s the first large-scale analysis that links organizational identification to better health.

What the authors learned is that it’s not necessarily finding a job that fits your personality and skills that leads to a healthy work life. Rather, it depends on how strongly you identify with the people and company you work for.

“These results show that both performance and health are enhanced to the extent that workplaces provide people with a sense of ‘we’ and ‘us’,” says lead researcher Dr. Niklas Steffens.

But it’s not just the tone the company sets for the workplace that has an influence. Your social relationships at work can also boost your health and lower your chances of burning out. The more you identify with your co-workers, the greater the health benefits.

“We are less burnt out and have greater well-being when our team and our organization provide us with a sense of belonging and community — when it gives us a sense of ‘we-ness,’” Steffens adds.

The research team believes the benefits come from the meaning and purpose that stems from being part of a social group.

“Social identification contributes to both psychological and physiological health, but the health benefits are stronger for psychological health,” concludes Steffens.

SOURCE: Health Determined by Social Relationships at Work. Press Release. Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Oct 2016.

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