A three-year study into worker wellness has concluded that employee wellbeing increases with age, with people aged 65 years and older reporting the highest levels of wellbeing and those aged 18 to 24 years reporting the lowest levels.

The investigation by Myers-Brigg, the professional development organisation, says that what enhances or hinders employees’ wellbeing may surprise some managers.

The company’s three-year international study looked into activities that improve wellbeing and involved more than 10,000 people from 131 countries.

It found that people’s workplace wellbeing comprises the following six factors:

  • Positive emotions — frequent feelings of happiness, contentment, pleasure

  • Relationships — mutual feelings of caring, support, satisfaction

  • Engagement —deep psychological connection and absorption in an activity or cause

  • Meaning — having a sense of purpose and direction

  • Accomplishment — pursuing success or mastery for its own sake

  • Negative emotions — low levels of anxiety, pessimism, depression.

Myers-Brigg refers to these wellbeing factors collectively as PREMAN.

The researchers also found an interesting age divide in their study, concluding that wellbeing at work increases with age. People aged 65 years and older reported the highest levels of wellbeing. People aged 18 to 24 years of age reported the lowest levels of wellbeing.

With multiple generations working together today, the research suggest companies can improve wellbeing by creating opportunities for younger people to learn from their older colleagues, for example by means of mentorship programmes enabling younger colleagues to draw on the wisdom and experience of older workers.

Last reviewed 20 May 2019