To explore the relationship between staff characteristics, perceived work environment and person-centred care in residential aged care units.Person-centred care is often described as the model of choice in residential aged care and in the care of persons with dementia. Few empirical studies have reported on the relationship between how staff experience different aspects of their work and person-centred care.The study had a cross-sectional quantitative design.Staff in 151 residential aged care units in Sweden (n = 1169) completed surveys which included questions about staff characteristics, valid and reliable measures of person-centred care, satisfaction with work and care, job strain, stress of conscience and psychosocial unit climate. Statistical analyses of correlations, group differences and multiple linear regression analysis estimated with generalised estimating equation were conducted.Higher levels of staff satisfaction, lower levels of job strain, lower levels of stress of conscience, higher levels of a supportive psychosocial unit climate and a higher proportion of staff with continuing education in dementia care were associated with higher levels of person-centred care. Job strain and a supportive psychosocial climate, explained most of the variation in person-centred care.This study shows that the work environment as perceived by staff is associated with the extent to which staff perceive the care as being person-centred in residential aged care. These empirical findings support the theoretical postulation that the work environment is an important aspect of person-centred care.Promoting a positive and supportive psychosocial climate and a work environment where staff experience balance between demands and control in their work, to enable person-centred care practice, seems to be important implications for managers and leaders in residential aged care.