News: Why married men are less prone to burnout: study


Why married men are less prone to burnout: study

Is marital satisfaction the key to reducing burnout among men?
Why married men are less prone to burnout: study

Does a happy married life translate to a happy work life?

Men with higher levels of marital satisfaction are less likely to experience burnout, according to research from the National Research University Higher School of Economics.

The study, which involved 203 employees from different companies, suggests that the support derived from a fulfilling marriage becomes a buffer against workplace stressors.

The gender divide in burnout

The study also highlighted a gender difference in the factors that contribute to burnout. For men, emotional fatigue, characterised by feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope with demands, was the most significant predictor of burnout. Women, on the other hand, were more prone to depersonalisation – a state of detachment from colleagues and clients, often accompanied by decreased empathy.

The researchers suggest these gendered experiences of burnout are rooted in societal expectations and traditional gender roles.

Men, often seen as providers and protectors, may face immense pressure to succeed in their careers, leading to emotional exhaustion. Women, traditionally expected to be nurturing and empathetic, may experience depersonalisation as a defence mechanism against the emotional demands of their work.

“For men, career success can often become a fundamental aspect of their identity and self-esteem,” said lead researcher Ilya Bulgakov.

“In this context, marital satisfaction and feeling supported in one’s private life can become critical factors in preventing burnout among men,” Bulgakov added.

Read More: The dangers of office romance

Implications for organisations

These findings have significant implications for organisations seeking to address and mitigate workplace burnout. Understanding gender-specific factors that contribute to burnout and the protective role of marriage can inform tailored interventions.

For example, programs can be developed to address emotional fatigue in men and depersonalisation in women. Organisations can also consider how to foster a supportive work environment that recognises the importance of personal relationships.

Read More: Burned out and unsupported, who's looking after HR professionals?

A global picture of marriage’s impact on work

The study’s findings resonate with global trends: a 2023 Gallup poll revealed married employees in the US, for example, reported higher overall well-being compared to single workers.

The Gallup study suggests a happy marriage does not only lower the risk of burnout for men, but also for women.

“The higher well-being of married adults relative to those who have never married can be found for men and women across all major racial/ethnic groups,” the study said.

“Statistical models show that the association between marriage and well-being is also not explained by educational attainment or age,” it added.

Marital satisfaction has been linked to numerous health and well-being benefits for both men and women, including reduced stress, improved mental health, and increased longevity.

Keeping personal relationships happy

While tying the knot might not be the only solution to workplace burnout, it’s clear that healthy romantic relationships, whether you’re married, dating, or living together, can play a crucial role.

Here are a few tips to cultivate a happy relationship that can buffer against the stress of work:

Prioritise communication. Open, honest communication is the foundation of any strong relationship. Make time to talk to your partner about your day, your worries, and your dreams.

Show appreciation. Let your partner know how much you value them. Express your gratitude for the things they do and the support they give.

Spend quality time together. Make time for activities you both enjoy. Whether it’s a romantic dinner or simply cuddling on the couch, spending quality time together strengthens your bond.

Support each other’s goals. Encourage your partner in their personal and professional pursuits. Celebrate their successes and offer support especially in challenging times.

Practise forgiveness. No one is perfect. Mistakes will happen. Be willing to forgive and move forward. Holding on to resentment will only damage your relationship.

Keep the romance alive. Don’t let the spark fade. Make an effort to keep things exciting. Surprise your partner with a thoughtful gesture or simply tell them how much you love them.

Happy relationships take work and dedication from both partners. But the rewards – including a reduced risk of burnout – are well worth the effort.

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Topics: Culture, #Wellbeing

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