Apparently many of us are feeling more content at work these days.

Thanks to higher pay, better benefits and increasingly flexible work arrangements, employees surveyed in 2022 reported the highest rates of job satisfaction since the Conference Board began asking the question nearly 40 years ago.

The belief that a job must be satisfying is a distinctly modern conceit. After all, medieval peasants didn’t ask themselves whether shoveling slop and threshing grain was satisfying. In fact, the idea that a job should pay emotional dividends — and not just the bills — would have seemed strange to most people before the 20th century.