According to a recent study, getting along with your co-workers (or at least successfully pretending to) may add years to your life.
Of course, this may mean you'll spend those extra years of life with the Weirdo In Accounting, but you'll also have time for that garden or something!
Published recently in Health Psychology, the study tracked 820 adults with an average age of 41 who worked 8.8 hour days for about 20 years; a third of them were women. Employees who reported low social support at work were 2.4 times more likely to die during those two decades, compared with their colleagues who said they had a good social support system in the workplace.
During the study period, 53 people died, most of whom had negligible social connections with their co-workers. Lack of emotional support at work, in fact, was associated with an 140 percent increased risk of dying in the next 20 years, the researchers found.
This study provides a few different theories as to why this could be (people are spending more time at work, thus requiring a higher level of emotional support at their place of business), but psychologist Dr. Elyse Schimel says that relying on positive social connections between you and your co-workers for your overall well-being may not be the best course of action. Because in most workplaces that can be pretty hard to find:
"Feeling supported and having a good work environment isn't as important as keeping a roof over your family's head and food on the table," she said. "There are buffers that can help you cope with stress including exercise, sleeping well, eating well, family support and social support," she said. "If you are in a hostile work environment, but don't have feasible options to leave, you want to get balance elsewhere in your life."