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Family Over Work Promotes Bad Manners

Update Date: Mar 10, 2015 08:32 PM EDT
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Not having a clear line between work and play makes people ill mannered, according to a new study.

Researchers found that people whose family life regularly interferes with work are significantly more likely to become emotionally exhausted and verbally abusive towards colleagues, friends and family.

However, having a supportive manager can actually decrease bad manners.

 "It appears that having a supervisor who is aware and supportive of work-family balance may not only reduce the work-family conflict itself but also weaken its downstream effect on verbal aggression," co-author Chu-Hsiang Chang, associate professor of psychology at Michigan State University, said in a news release.

The latest study involved data from 125 employees at five different technology companies who were surveyed four times a week for three weeks.

"We wanted to see if people who experience work-family conflict are less able to suppress their dark tendencies and more apt to act out on their aggressive impulses," Chang added.

Study data revealed that people were significantly more likely to feel emotionally exhausted when family life interfered with their jobs. Furthermore, those who feel emotionally exhausted were significantly more likely to be rude or verbally abusive toward supervisors, colleagues and family members.

Researchers said the findings suggest that companies should prioritize training managers to become more supportive of employees.

"Supportive managers should model the right behavior -- in other words, don't send your employees emails at 11 p.m. and expect them to respond, for example," Chang concluded.

The findings are published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

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