The Whitehall II study was conducted amongst 5,182 London based civil servants and is one of very few longitudinal studies examining the positive effects on people at work.
Higher levels of wellbeing were impacted by:
1. High levels of control at work
2. High levels of emotional support and being able to confide in others
3. Low levels of job strain
New analyses of the study show that working conditions and good personal relationships increase levels of wellbeing - even after taking into account other sources of life satisfaction and distress, plus individual characteristics such as personality traits.
The findings therefore suggest increasing the positive aspects of work - rather than simply reducing the negative aspects - may lead to improved morale and greater wellbeing among the working population.
Stephen Stansfeld, Professor of Psychiatry, Queen Mary University of London (Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry), said that this study shows the quality of our working conditions and personal relationships are key to the nation's happiness.
The study has been published in the PLOS ONE.