A good peer-support system at work can help not only increase the productivity but also to make workers live longer. According to a study published in the journal Health Psychology, from the American Psychological Association, having a good relationship with co-workers influences mortality risk. This tendency was most pronounced between people aged 38 to 43.
Researchers at Tel Aviv University studied the medical data of more than 800 workers through 20 years. From 1988 to 2008, the workers have been answering questionnaires that measured factors such as control at work, job demands and peer and supervisor support. One-third of the workers questioned in the study were women. About 80% had a family with children, and almost 50% had at least 12 years of education. The average workday was nearly 9 hours.
Having a supportive supervisor has no impact on mortality, as the study showed. After eliminating risk factors such as drinking, smoking and suffering from serious illnesses, researchers found that those who could get along with their workmates lived longer. Psychologists suggested that this result could be linked to the fact that having a good peer support system helps to minimize work-related stress.
A pronounced difference between men and women in the impact of having decision-making authority at work was also detected by the researchers. While leadership roles had a protective effect for men, it increased the risk of mortality for women.