Home > Lifestyle > Man > News Updated 05 December 2013 Blacks happier at work than whites Research shows that although black people report being happier at work, they tend to have fewer friends in the workplace. 1 Shutterstock Related Romance across the race divide Smoking deaths highest among coloureds Races respond differently to low vitamin D Follow us Facebook » Ask CyberShrink » Receive Health tips » Test Your sex toy IQ » All the tests you'll ever need 8 strange things your body does Despite working in more routine and less autonomous jobs, having fewer close friends at work, and feeling less supported by their co-workers, blacks report significantly more positive emotions in the workplace than whites, according to a new study in Social Psychology Quarterly."We were surprised by this," said lead author Melissa M. Sloan, an assistant professor of interdisciplinary social sciences and sociology at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee. "Based on the history of discrimination against African Americans in the workplace, we thought blacks would experience more negative emotions at work than whites. As it turned out, the opposite was true."Titled, "Counting on Coworkers: Race, Social Support, and Emotional Experiences on the Job," the study considered more than 1 300 state government employees in Tennessee.Sloan and her co-authors Ranae J. Evenson Newhouse, an assistant professor of sociology at Tennessee State University, and Ashley B. Thompson, an assistant professor of sociology at Lynchburg College, also found that the higher the percentage of minorities in a workplace, the more close friends blacks had and the fewer whites had.Negative emotions and raceIn workplaces with a low percentage of minority employees — 13% or less — black workers said they considered 39% of their co-workers to be close friends versus 61% for white workers. However, in workplaces with a high percentage of minority employees — 35% or more — black workers said they considered about 42% of their co-workers to be close friends versus 46% for white workers."What was surprising to us about these findings was that the percentage of minority workers in a workplace more strongly influenced the friendships of whites than blacks," Sloan said.In addition, the study found that the more minorities in a workplace, the more negative emotions whites experienced at work. "This is a concern because the increased negative emotions of white workers in racially diverse workplaces can negatively impact the workplace atmosphere," Sloan said.Sloan and her co-authors also discovered that while providing social support to co-workers negatively affected the emotional experiences of white workers, it was associated with increased levels of positive emotion among black workers. "By providing support to colleagues, black workers may feel valued and more integrated into the work environment," Sloan said. "In contrast, white workers who do not experience social isolation in the same way as black workers do, may find providing support to be a burden."In terms of policy implications, Sloan said the study suggests that more research is needed to determine how to encourage people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds to develop supportive relationships with each other. "Simply increasing racial and ethnic diversity in the workplace might not be enough to foster social connections between workers with different backgrounds and, in fact, may elicit negative emotions among members of the majority group," Sloan said.(Picture: Smiling businessman from Shutterstock) EurekAlert NEXT ON HEALTH24X Need motivation? Joel Stransky stood on the podium at the Cape Epic, a year after being in ICU 2018-04-12 10:30 More: ManNews advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 1 comment Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Lifestyle Why women are opting to get their virginity restored through hymenoplasty Parenting Does mom's dagga end up in breast milk? News SEE: This surprising group is at risk of getting Listeriosis Medical A quick guide to sinus-related congestion Fitness The genius ab exercise that all gymnasts use, but everyone else ignores News SEE: 6 body parts that can alert you to major health problems From our sponsors WIN a R2 000 beauty voucher! Understanding diabetes self-management Fed up with the Phlemings? Let’s chat diabetes and erectile dysfunction Live healthier FYI » When the flu turns deadly Why the flu makes you feel so miserable Could a deadly flu strain hit SA this winter? Following an intense flu season in the US and UK, should we be worried about our own upcoming flu season? Alcohol and acne » Dagga vs alcohol: Which is worse? SEE: Why you are drinking more alcohol than you realise Does alcohol cause acne? Some foods can be a trigger for acne, but what about alcohol? Dermatologist Dr Nerissa Moodley weighs in.