This week, a study was released that found that people who work for free tend to be happier than those who receive paid work.
The research, which was done by the University of Sussex’s Economic and Social Research Centre, found that workers who receive no wages are more likely to be satisfied with their lives, with a more positive outlook on their health, a happier relationship with their partner, and more satisfied with life overall.
Researchers asked people to describe their experience of work, and to describe the meaning they attached to it.
Respondents rated the meaning of work as “extremely important”, “very important”, or “not important” in relation to their life satisfaction.
Participants were asked how much they had enjoyed working for free, and how much money they had earned for work.
Responses were then compared with people who received regular, full-time pay, as well as people who were employed full-timers.
The researchers found that the participants who were paid full-term paid work were happier than the others, with an overall happiness rating of 3.8 compared to those who were not paid.
Responding to the results, Professor John Hawksworth, an economist at the University’s School of Economics, said: “It’s a pretty big finding, but it’s really interesting to think about it from this angle.”
It’s not just the money that’s getting paid.
It’s also the meaning and the feeling that you get from doing your job.
“But when they’re paid, they think of it as something that is just going to get them through the day.””
Prof Hawksworth said that the findings might help to explain why people are not always satisfied with the paid work they are given.””
But when they’re paid, they think of it as something that is just going to get them through the day.”
Prof Hawksworth said that the findings might help to explain why people are not always satisfied with the paid work they are given.
“If you’re paying them to do something they can’t do, it may lead to a sense of frustration, because you think, ‘I can’t make that work,’ ” he said.
“That may lead them to feel that they don’t have any choice about what they’re doing, that they should work harder or they should do more, because that’s what they want to do.”
The research was published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.
The article was first published on The Conversation.