Relationships with Coworkers Matter Most for Well-being at Work, Research Suggest

Sunnyvale, Calif., May 29, 2019--A third of your life is spent at work, but what determines your workplace well-being?

That's the question that Dr. Martin Boult, Senior Director Professional Services & International Training, The Myers-Briggs Company, asked before starting a three-year international study on workplace well-being.

His new report, titled "Well-being in the Workplace" from The Myers-Briggs Company (, a Certified B Corporation®, explores the most effective activities for enhancing well-being and its benefits for both people and organizations.

The study of more than 10,000 people from 131 countries compared workplace well-being across geographies, occupations, genders, personality types and age. Boult, along with Dr. Rich Thompson, Senior Director of Research, The Myers-Briggs Company, also analyzed relationships between workplace well-being and organizational outcomes such as commitment and job satisfaction. The study showed that:

Well-being improves with age. The youngest age group (18-24 years) reported the lowest levels of well-being (6.77) and the oldest age group (65+ years) reported the highest (8.14).

Gender plays a role in workplace well-being. While men and women have similar levels of well-being at work (men = 7.45; women = 7.52), women reported slightly higher levels of Engagement (women = 7.47; men = 7.29) and Positive Emotions (women = 7.22; men = 7.13). This suggests women's overall well-being may be supported by emotions that link to levels of interest and enjoyment they get from their work.

Some jobs make people happier. Workers reported the highest well-being in occupations involving service-related work:

Workers reported the lowest workplace well-being levels in more practical, physical jobs:

Well-being is similar around the world. Participants from Australia/New Zealand and Latin America reported the highest levels of well-being (7.83 out of 10), while participants in Asia (7.38) reported the lowest. "The similar levels being reported suggest that regional culture may have less of an effect on workplace well-being than previously thought," said Thompson. 

Relationships are the leading contributor to workplace well-being. Relationships ranked the highest contributing aspect of well-being (7.85 out of 10), followed by Meaning (7.69), Accomplishments (7.66), Engagement (7.43), and Positive Emotions (7.19 out of 10).

Workplace well-being is related to organizational outcomes. Higher levels of workplace well-being correlated with:

As Sherrie Haynie, Director of US Professional Services for The Myers-Briggs Company, recently described in Forbes, happiness and profit are synergistic.

Employees interested in their tasks have higher well-being. Participants rated the most effective activities in order of importance as: 1. Focusing on work tasks that interest me
2. Focusing on a work task that makes me feel positive
3. Undertaking work where I learn something new
4. Taking breaks at work when needed
5. Undertaking challenging work that adds to my skills and knowledge

"Research shows up to 80% of people in large companies aren't engaged at work. This means huge losses in productivity," said Boult. "Improving employee well-being is crucial for improving engagement. The biggest lever you can pull to get started is fostering more productive workplace relationships."

Download the full report

About The Myers-Briggs Company
In our fast-changing world, your edge lies in harnessing 100 percent of your talent – whether you’re at work, home, school, college, or anywhere in between. Your success and sense of fulfillment aren’t just about what you know and what you can do, they hinge on your relationships and interactions with others. The Myers-Briggs Company empowers individuals to be the best versions of themselves by enriching self-awareness and their understanding of others. We help organizations around the world improve teamwork and collaboration, develop inspirational leaders, foster diversity and solve their most complex people challenges. As a certified B Corp (and a registered California Benefit Corporation), The Myers-Briggs Company is a force for good. Our powerfully practical solutions are grounded in a deep understanding of the significant social and technological trends that affect people and organizations. With over 60 years in assessment development and publishing, and over 30 years of consultancy and training expertise, a global network of offices, partners and certified independent consultants in 115 countries, products in 29 languages, and experience working with 88 of the Fortune 100 companies, we’re ready to help you succeed.

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