Love Your Co-Workers, Love Your Life!
It’s often been reported that a happy marriage and positive social relationships are a key to health, happiness and long life. But one crucial key has been left out, until now—the importance of your relationship with your co-workers. Which makes perfect sense; after all, if you’re working, you’re probably spending more time with your co-workers than just about anybody else, and the quality of those relationships will be a major part of every day.
New-breed work sites such as Google and Whole Foods recruit associates with the promise of a “work hard, play hard” culture and a work setting where relationships matter.
That approach may pay off in unexpected ways: a new study finds that employees who believe that they have the personal support of their peers at work are more likely to live a longer life.
A new research study investigates if a work environment that promotes positive relationships can influence long-term health.
“We spend most of our waking hours at work, and we don’t have much time to meet our friends during the weekdays,” said researcher Sharon Toker, Ph.D. “Work should be a place where people can get necessary emotional support.”
Toker and her colleagues at Tel Aviv University in Israel followed the health records of 820 adults who worked an average of 8.8 hours a day through a two-decade period. Those who had reported having low social support at work were 2.4 times more likely to die sometime within those 20 years, she said.
The study is published in the journal Health Psychology.
What do you think—what’s the impact of work relationships on happiness and health? And what’s the best way to foster a positive work environment and positive interactions and camaraderie with your co-workers? Any tips or stories to share?