Not just the right job, but the relationships with colleagues and the social groups we form at the workplace may be linked to better health and lower burnout, new research has found. Previous studies on the relationships between people and their workplaces focus on issues of satisfaction, motivation, and performance, but much less on health and well-being.
While many people assume that finding the right job that fits your personality and skills is the key to a healthy work life, scientists have shown that how strongly we identify with the people or organisation where we work is associated with better health at work.
This study is the first large-scale analysis showing that organisational identificationis related to better health,” said Niklas Steffens from University of Queensland in Australia. “These results show that both performance and health are enhanced to the extent that workplaces provide people with a sense of ‘we’ and ‘us’,” said Steffens.
Social identification contributes to both psychological and physiological health, but the health benefits are stronger for psychological health,” said Steffens. The positive psychological benefit may stem from the support provided by the work group but also the meaning and purpose that people derive from membership in social groups. “We are less burnt out and have greater well-being when our team and our organisation provide us with a sense of belonging and community -when it gives us a sense of ‘weness’,” said Steffens.