Career Advice

The 1 Factor That Improves Workplace Wellness for Nearly Every Myers-Briggs Type

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As of late, many companies are trying to find the winning formula for how to be happy at work with initiatives like unlimited vacation, pet-friendly offices, and stocked snack drawers, to name just a few. Because happy employees equal a productive work environment, you know? While we await that magic answer to reveal itself, some new intel might help inform progress.

Enter a recent survey of 10,000 people across 131 countries by The Myer-Briggs Company. The participants were asked to rank six factors of workplace wellness: positive emotions, relationships, engagement, meaning, accomplishment, and negative emotions. And for the third year in a row, healthy relationships with coworkers was valued most highly across nearly all the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types.

All together now: awww! But also, duh. A 2017 review of studies by the Ohio State University made the case that working with friends has two solid benefits: First, it caters to productivity (friend coworkers collaborated better on random tasks than strangers did). And second, getting yourself a work wife can make you, well, happier.

For the third year in a row, healthy relationships with coworkers was valued most highly across nearly all the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types.

And it's worth noting that even introverts benefit hugely from positive work relationships. Not just even, in fact, but especially. The results showed all introvert personality types except INTJ (which opted for "accomplishment") prioritized relationships over all other factors. The only two other types that didn't prioritize relationships first were both extroverted: ESTJ and ENTJ indicated "meaning" to be most important.

Chalk it up as a reminder to fight for those unconventional team-building outings (Helloooo, Olive Garden) and make time for coffee with your work wife. Because these findings make sense: I'm never happier at a gig than when I supported, accepted, and respected by my coworkers. And I've worked a range of jobs, including selling moderately priced lingerie and exhaustively recapping the Jersey Shore revival. For me, what really keeps the daily grind from being soul-crushing—no matter what that grind is—is the people who surround me. Even if you don't love what you do, being able to Slack your coworker a hilarious meme or being on a team where authentic, positive feedback abounds makes a huge difference in my sense of happiness.

And while I'm not an INTJ, ESTJ, or ENTJ, my educated guess is that positive colleague connections won't hurt people who identify with those personality types either.

On the flip side, here's how to deal with super-annoying coworkers. And if you're really searching meaning in the office, this personality compass may point you in the right direction. 

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