The happiest employees are those who feel like they have control at work and have a good emotional support system, a new study suggests.
Researchers from the Queen Mary University of London examined data from the Whitehall II study, which included 5,182 civil servant workers in the United Kingdom. They answered questionnaires asking about their social support system and characteristics about their work.
They found that the workers who reported less job strain, high emotional support and high control at work were also the ones who reported the best well-being. These results held true even after taking into account other well-being factors such as standard of living, free time and accommodations.
The findings "suggest that policies that increase employees' sense of control and support in the workplace are likely to lead to greater well-being," the researchers wrote in the PLOS ONE study.
"In much of the debate on work-related stress there has been a focus on the negative consequences of work. This research reverses this perspective and suggests examining factors that improve the work environment and increase well-being and morale at work," they added.
Indeed, a recent study by career site Glassdoor also showed why it may be better to emphasize the positive over the negative. That study showed that more employees are motivated to work hard when they feel appreciation from the boss, compared with when they feel like they might lose their jobs, BusinessNewsDaily reported.