Enjoying and feeling engaged in your job or work is not just an important element in having a good career, but also in having a good life.
On the other hand, if you're emotionally disconnected from your job -- meaning you're an "actively disengaged" worker -- your quality of life is just about equal to that of those who are unemployed.
These findings are from two new Gallup.com analyses, which have discovered numerous connections between Americans' workplace engagement and their happiness and physical health.
Using Gallup's employee engagement index and the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, Gallup.com's Jim Harter and Sangeeta Agrawal found that actively disengaged employees are about as unhappy -- and in some cases worse off -- than those struggling with unemployment.
For example, 42% of actively disengaged workers are classified as thriving, less than the 48% of the unemployed who fall into that category. The actively disengaged are also about as likely as the unemployed to experience negative emotions on a daily basis, including worry, stress, sadness, and anger.
Both groups are also less likely to be in excellent health and more likely to have chronic health issueswhen compared with engaged workers.
Employees who are involved in and enthusiastic about their work ("engaged") blow all the other groups out of the water -- they rate their lives much better, experience far fewer negative emotions, and are in significantly better health.
The articles' authors conclude that there is an important role business leaders can play based on these findings, which can ultimately benefit not just their employees, but also their bottom line. If business leaders improve their workplaces and initiate efforts to increase employee engagement, they could end up with happier and healthier workers, increasing productivity and decreasing healthcare costs.