Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 619–640 | Cite as

Finding Meaning at Work: The Role of Inspiring and Funny YouTube Videos on Work-Related Well-Being

  • Sophie H. Janicke-BowlesEmail author
  • Diana Rieger
  • Winston ConnorIII
Research Paper


Watching online videos on social media is a common activity in today’s digital age, but its’ impact on employee well-being at work has not been investigated yet. The current study tried to fill this gap by investigating the role hedonic and eudaimonic online videos play on employee’s stress levels and well-being at work. An online experiment with 200 full time employees in the US was conducted exploring the role of inspiring affect and positive affect on three distinct well-being outcomes: subjective well-being, psychological well-being and social well-being at the workplace. A path model suggests unique effects for inspiring videos on indicators of subjective (vitality), psychological (meaning at work) and social (relatedness at work) well-being. In addition, appreciating the good things in life mediated the relationship between inspiring affect and meaning and relatedness at work. Furthermore, employees generally felt less stressed after watching any type of online video (including a non-entertaining control video), but felt the highest energy surge after watching an elevating video. Implications about the role of online videos for employees’ well-being are discussed.


Workplace well-being Online videos Stress Vitality Gratitude 



Funding was provided by The John Templeton Foundation (Grant No. 55826).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of CommunicationChapman UniversityOrangeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Media Communication StudiesUniversity of MannheimMannheimGermany
  3. 3.University of ArkansasFayettevilleUSA

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