If you have a crucifix on your office wall or a nativity-scene mouse pad on your desk, you might be happier at work, new research suggests. The collaborative study at Kansas State University revealed that people who openly discuss their religion in the workplace are happier on average than those who don’t.
“For many people, religion is the core of their lives,” said Sooyeol Kim, a doctoral student in psychological sciences who was involved with the study. “Being able to express important aspects of one’s life can influence work-related issues, such as job satisfaction, work performance, or engagement. It can be beneficial for organizations to have a climate that is welcoming to every religion and culture.”
Researchers surveyed nearly 600 adults across a variety of industries, such as finance and education, in both the United States and South Korea. All of the survey respondents were Christian, but identified with different denominations within Christianity.
One major reason that those who openly express their religion are happier at work is because they don’t feel like they have something to hide. “When you try to hide your identity, you have to pretend or you have to lie to others, which can be stressful and negatively impact how you build relationships with coworkers,” Kim said.
Being open about one’s religion also helps ease the stress of a creating a work-life balance, the study found, by blurring the line between person’s private life and professional life.