According to a recent study from Kansas State University, the company Christmas party isn’t just an excuse to get drunk on your employer's tab but is actually an integral part of workers’ happiness.

In many offices, religion and work just don’t seem to mix, but Sooyeol Kim, a doctoral student at Kansas State, believes the two couldn’t blend any more smoothly. According to his study, employees who openly discuss and celebrate their religious beliefs at work are often happier and have a higher sense of job satisfaction than those who do not, Medical News Today reported.

“Being able to express important aspects of one's life can influence work-related issues such as job satisfaction, work performance, or engagement. It can be beneficial for organizations to have a climate that is welcoming to every religion and culture," Kim said.

In order to come up with this conclusion, Kim and his fellow researchers surveyed nearly 600 adult workers, all if which identified as various forms of Christianity and were working in different industries in both the U.S. and South Korea. The volunteers were asked questions to derive how religious of a life they lived and how their level of faith shaped their personal identity.

Results showed that workers who reported being the most religious were not only the most likely to openly discuss their faith in the workplace but also the most likely to report higher levels of work satisfaction. Those who were religious but hid often faced negative consequences.

“When you try to hide your identity, you have to pretend or you have to lie to others, which can be stressful and negatively impact how you build relationships with co-workers," Kim said.

The team suggested that, based on their findings, it would be beneficial for both employees and the overall work atmosphere if companies made it clear they accepted religious beliefs and encouraged their employees to make their faith well-known. Welcoming various faiths in the workplace could range from encouraging employees to decorate their desks with religious ornaments to celebrating holidays from various faiths.

A recent survey also suggests religious people are not only happier in the workplace, but also happier with their overall life. The Breitbart News Network found that of the more than 15,000 American adults surveyed, 45 percent who attend religious services on a weekly basis describe themselves as "very happy," while only 28 percent of those who never attend service said the same, the Daily Mail reported. Although religious folk aren’t sharing the specific key to their optimistic outlook on life, it’s suspected that their faith helps to cope better with difficult life situations, such as divorce or job loss.

Source: Kim S, Lyons B, Wessel J, Ghumman S, Ryan AM. Applying models of employee identity management across cultures: Christianity in the USA and South Korea. Journal of Organization Behavior. 2014.