Workers who are unhappy in their jobs are more likely to become ill, according to extensive research.
A study of 250,000 employees by Lancaster University and Manchester Business School found that job satisfaction influenced mental health in particular.
People with low job satisfaction were most likely to experience emotional burn-out; have reduced self-esteem; and suffer from anxiety and depression.
Even a modest drop in job satisfaction could lead to burn-out of “considerable clinical importance”, the report warned.
Depression and anxiety were now the most common reasons for people starting to claim long-term sickness benefits, overtaking illnesses such as back pain, said the report.
Professor Cary Cooper, of Lancaster University Management School, said: “Employers should seriously look at tackling the consequences of job dissatisfaction and related health problems with innovative policies.
“This would be a wise investment given the potential substantial economic and psychological costs of unhappy or dissatisfied workers.
“Workers who are satisfied by their jobs are more likely to be healthier as well as happier.
Cooper said new working practices and technological advances are rapidly changing the way we work, with many jobs becoming more automated and inflexible.
“These trends have contributed to a ‘workaholic’ culture throughout the UK and Europe – a climate that is impacting negatively in the levels of enjoyment and satisfaction employees gain from their work,” he warned.