Love What You Do

We had an annual company event today, and I must admit that all day long I kept thinking about when can I get back to my hotel to work on several ideas that I have and get a couple of deliverables out the door.  Not that I wasn’t having fun since it was one of the best company events I have been to.  But, I love what I do.  And, since I have had the chance to work several places and even more as a consultant, I think being happy at work and enjoying your corporate culture is very important.

I love that fact that the company takes the time to celebrate and discuss the future.  And, it is great to be at a company that is still of a size that everyone can interact with each other, but big enough that you can make investments in the future.  Anyways, working on a few things for some of you clients and enjoying every minute of it.

But making it relevant for the rest of you…it made me think of the correlation between job satisfaction and health.  We all know the problems with stress and the impacts on health, but I found what looks like a good meta-study that shows the correlations.  Here is the abstract fromOccupational and Environmental Medicine 2005;62:105-112.

The relationship between job satisfaction and health: a meta-analysis

E B Faragher, M Cass, C L Cooper

Background: A vast number of published studies have suggested a link between job satisfaction levels and health. The sizes of the relationships reported vary widely. Narrative overviews of this relationship have been published, but no systematic meta-analysis review has been conducted.

Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 485 studies with a combined sample size of 267 995 individuals was conducted, evaluating the research evidence linking self-report measures of job satisfaction to measures of physical and mental wellbeing.

Results: The overall correlation combined across all health measures was r = 0.312 (0.370 after Schmidt-Hunter adjustment). Job satisfaction was most strongly associated with mental/psychological problems; strongest relationships were found for burnout (corrected r = 0.478), self-esteem(r = 0.429), depression (r = 0.428), and anxiety(r = 0.420). The correlation with subjective physical illness was more modest (r = 0.287).

Conclusions: Correlations in excess of 0.3 are rare in this context. The relationships found suggest that job satisfaction level is an important factor influencing the health of workers. Organisations should include the development of stress management policies to identify and eradicate work practices that cause most job dissatisfaction as part of any exercise aimed at improving employee health. Occupational health clinicians should consider counselling employees diagnosed as having psychological problems to critically evaluate their work—and help them to explore ways of gaining greater satisfaction from this important aspect of their life.

One Response to “Love What You Do”

  1. Hard to say which is the chicken and which is the egg? Workers who are depressed and have poor self esteem will always judge their work environment through tinted glasses, or have anxiety about the job they do–even if they love it. The only correlation that might be specifically job related is burnout. I wonder if an employee can collect workman’s comp for work-related depression? How would a person prove their depression is work-related versus just life related? (i.e., if I break my leg at work I can get worker’s comp, but if I break my leg on the ski slopes it’s on my nickle).

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