The Thrill of Creative Effort at Work: An Empirical Study on Work, Creative Effort and Well-Being

Arie Sherman, Tal Shavit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The connections between creative effort at work and four measures of subjective well-being are studied using data on a sample of 922 Jewish Israeli adults who are salaried employees. The paper finds that self-reported creative effort aimed at making work more enjoyable is positively associated with global evaluation of life; with purpose and meaning in life, and with positive emotions. No significant link with negative emotions was found. This study also finds significant associations with three additional intrinsic features of work-creative tasks; independence at work and intellectual work-and various measures of subjective well-being, even when controlling for age, gender, marital status, having children, education, time worked, financial satisfaction, subjective health and religiosity. The robustness of the links between intrinsic features of work and subjective well-being demonstrate that work serves not only as a means to material ends, but also as a direct source of personal happiness, meaning and satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2049-2069
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Intrinsic features of work
  • Subjective well-being
  • Work creative effort


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