This job article was first published on GQ.de
While you can’t always be sure that certain jobs are linked to unhappiness, you can at least identify certain characteristics that make people unhappy at work, according to a recent University of Michigan study on happiness.
The only jobs that make people unhappy
The jobs that make people the most miserable are also among the loneliest, according to Harvard researchers. The result is that most unhappy employees work in jobs that require little human interaction and do not provide opportunities to build meaningful relationships with colleagues; for example, security guards on shifts or long-distance night drivers.
But also in part delivery jobs and other types of delivery, where you have never met with co-workers; or in a change of work, in which, while other leaves enter, the persistent loneliness increases the frustration. “But feeling disconnected from others at work is not a psychological problem,” Robert Waldinger, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, told CNBC. It is also increasingly a health problem: “As other recent studies have shown, loneliness increases the risk of death with age in a similar way to smoking, obesity and physical inactivity.”
Social contacts are good for your life and mental health
“If you’re encouraged to work as a team, it’s easier to build positive relationships with peers,” Waldinger continues. “But if you’re at your job, alone all the time, or competing with others, things change.”
On the other hand, as Waldinger’s colleague and deputy director of the study Marc Schulz explains, it is bad for supervisors to think that productivity suffers when employees indulge in brief moments of relaxation and chat or laugh with each other in the office. Because, in fact, it is the opposite: “A 2022 report shows that people who have a best friend at work are more productive and engaged in work than those who do not.”
He has given his long-term study to happiness for 85 years
The Harvard study on which the aforementioned data is based is considered one of the longest in the world on adult life, since it began 85 years ago, specifically in 1938, during the Great Depression. Since then, scientists from various disciplines at the American University, who have participated in the Harvard Study of Adults, have also been researching happiness. Health data among more than 700 participants collected from around the world since the beginning of the study are updated every two years. It was last published on March 20, the World Day of Happiness.
“People who are more socially connected to family, friends and community are happier, physically healthier and live longer than people who are less connected,” Waldinger said. He added: “People who are more isolated from others than you would find are less happy, their health deteriorates earlier in middle life, and brain function deteriorates more quickly, and they live shorter lives than others.” They don’t feel. only.”