Happiness and work are closely related, and Harvard University knows it. “Work to live, don’t live to work” we have always been told. And our work occupation has a very significant impact on our emotional well-being and our quality of life. Whether because job satisfaction fills us with positive feelings or because it gives us a sense of purpose, a balance between personal and professional life is our eternal quest.
Well, after nothing more and nothing less than 85 years of studying happiness, Harvard shed light on a crucial question: what jobs make us unhappier? The Adult Development Study of the prestigious university, directed by Robert Waldinger (professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School), collected information from 724 participants from around the world since 1938 to answer why we are more or less happy. In the workplace, the key is this – happiness and work are closely related.
The 7 jobs that make us unhappiest have a common factor: loneliness
Contrary to what many people may think, it is not a question of salary. The study determined that jobs that require less human interaction and in which, therefore, fewer interpersonal relationships are established, a standard work environment and a support network with colleagues are the ones that cause us the most unhappiness.
The jobs that isolate us are, therefore, those that generate the greatest dissatisfaction (evidently, each person is different and what may cause it to one, not to another). However, this group includes not only jobs that are done alone but also those in which we feel isolated because the interactions are not positive or meaningful. In this sense, the study determines that we would talk about:
Delivery people for parcel or food companies
Online retail, where everything moves so fast that employees in the same warehouse can barely talk to each other, they point out
Customer service services such as those performed in call centres
Remote jobs in which the only company is the computer
Night security guards
Jobs with night shifts in which some people cross paths with others without hardly being able to interact.
“Personal connection creates mental and emotional stimulation, which automatically improves mood, while isolation destroys mood,” explains Dr. Waldinger. Therefore, feeling disconnected from others can even lead to health problems.
Researchers determined that creating opportunities for social connection at work is restorative while relieving stress and feelings of loneliness and unhappiness. Something that will also have a very positive effect on productivity.
Therefore, Waldinger establishes that not only the compensation for our work motivates us when looking for a job and being happy in it, but also the work relationships that we can establish. “Positive relationships at work lead to lower levels of stress, healthier workers, and fewer days when we come home upset,” the doctor concluded in a statement to CNBC News.
This article was syndicated from Marie Claire Spain.