Men who are married are less likely to feel burnout at the workplace, suggests a study.
Workplace burnout is widespread and can have a detrimental effect on employee performance, wellbeing, and the overall productivity of the organisation.
The study, led by a team at National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Russia, showed that satisfaction in personal relationships can help lower the manifestation of workplace burnout syndrome.
Burnout causes significant mental fatigue and manifests through emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation (a state in which individuals feel disconnected from their body, thoughts, or emotions), and a decline in personal fulfilment.
For the study, the team conducted a survey of 203 employees across different Russian companies, wherein the participants were asked to assess their satisfaction with personal relationships and the presence of workplace burnout symptoms.
The results indicate that as the level of marital satisfaction increases, the risk of burnout decreases, and this correlation is more pronounced in men.
The researchers attribute these findings to disparities in social roles and stereotypes attributed to men and women, along with variations in expectations related to marriage and career.
"For men, career success can often become a fundamental aspect of their identity and self-esteem. As a result, they may encounter greater pressure in the workplace and experience elevated stress levels while striving to fulfil their duties and meet expectations," said Ilya Bulgakov, Doctoral Student, HSE School of Psychology.
"In this context, marital satisfaction and feeling supported in one's private life can become critical factors in preventing burnout among men," Bulgakov added.
When it comes to women, depersonalisation characterised by a sense of detachment from colleagues and clients and a decrease in empathy and compassion has a greater impact on the development of burnout.
For men, the most significant factor is emotional fatigue from being overwhelmed with requests and feeling incapable of effectively managing them.
The researchers suggest that depersonalisation experienced by women is linked to the societal expectations and social roles commonly imposed on them within the professional realm.
Thus, in many cultures, there is an expectation for women to demonstrate nurturing and empathetic behaviour.
Women frequently experience pressure concerning the amount of emotional support they offer to colleagues, clients, or patients.
Escalation of such expectations can result in heightened stress and a tendency to disengage from these responsibilities, ultimately leading to depersonalisation, with a detrimental effect on work performance and relationships with colleagues and clients.
In men, emotional burnout can be triggered by social expectations linked to their roles as providers and protectors, which frequently entail a significant level of responsibility and work-related stress.
The findings reveal that men who experience greater professional success also tend to have higher levels of satisfaction with their personal relationships.
No such correlation has been found for women.
This suggests that support in one's personal life may play a more significant role in facilitating workplace success for men compared to women, the researchers said.
They emphasised that for organisations, understanding the specific aspects of employee burnout can serve as a valuable tool in managing stressful situations and enhancing motivation.
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