In today’s faced-paced economic environment, worker burnout is a relatively common occurrence as nearly 50 percent of all U.S. workers feel overwhelmed by job demands. New research suggests burnout is often a combined function of job stressors and an absence of support away from the work-place.
In fact, new research from Concordia University and the University of Montreal shows that having an understanding partner is just as important as having a supportive boss.
As published in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, researchers surveyed 1,954 employees from 63 different organizations and discovered a multitude of issues contribute to mental health problems in the workforce.
Investigators polled participants to measure factors like parental status, household income, social network, gender, age, physical health, and levels of self-esteem.
They studied these elements alongside stressors typically seen in the workplace, such as emotional exhaustion, poor use of skills, high psychological demands, job insecurity, and lack of authority.
Turns out mental health in the workplace doesn’t exist in a vacuum; it’s deeply affected by the rest of a person’s day-to-day life, and vice versa.
The study shows that fewer mental health problems are experienced by those living with a partner, in households with young children, higher household incomes, less work-family conflicts, and greater access to the support of a social network outside the workplace.
Of course, factors within the workplace are still important. Fewer mental health problems are reported when employees are supported at work, when expectations of job recognition are met and when people feel secure in their jobs.
A higher level of skill use is also associated with lower levels of depression, pointing to the importance of designing tasks that motivate and challenge workers.
“This is a call to action,” said senior author Steve Harvey, Ph.D., professor of management and dean of Concordia’s School of Business.
“Researchers need to expand their perspective so that they get a full picture of the complexity of factors that determine individuals’ mental health.”
For lead author Alain Marchand, Ph.D., it’s all about adopting a holistic view.
“To maintain a truly healthy workforce, we need to look outside the office or home in simple terms to combat mental health issues in the workplace.”
Source: Concordia University