A study suggests that married men are less likely to feel burnout in the workplace. Workplace burnout is pervasive and can have a detrimental effect on employee performance, well-being, and the overall productivity of the organization. A study led by a team from the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Russia showed that satisfaction in personal relationships can help reduce the manifestation of workplace burnout syndrome.
Burnout causes significant mental fatigue and is manifested by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization (a state in which individuals feel disconnected from their body, thoughts, or feelings), and a decline in personal fulfillment. For the study, the team conducted a survey of 203 employees at various Russian companies, in which participants were asked to rate their satisfaction with personal relationships and the presence of burnout symptoms in the workplace.
The results show that as the level of marital satisfaction increases, the risk of burnout decreases, and this relationship is more pronounced among men. Researchers attribute these findings to differences in marriage and career-related expectations, as well as disparities in social roles and stereotypes for men and women.
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“For men, career success can often become a fundamental aspect of their identity and self-esteem. As a result, they may face more pressure in the workplace and struggle to fulfill their duties and meet expectations. can experience high stress levels trying to do that,” Ilya said. Bulgakov, Doctoral Student, HSE School of Psychology.
“In this context, marital satisfaction and a sense of support in one’s personal life may become important factors in preventing burnout in men,” Bulgakov added. When it comes to women, depersonalization, characterized by a sense of detachment from colleagues and clients and a lack of empathy and compassion, has a greater impact on the development of burnout.
For men, the most important factor is emotional exhaustion from being overwhelmed with requests and feeling unable to manage them effectively. Researchers have suggested that the depersonalization experienced by women is linked to social expectations and social roles commonly imposed on them in the professional sphere.
Thus, in many cultures, women are expected to demonstrate nurturing and compassionate behavior. Women often experience pressure about the amount of emotional support to provide to colleagues, clients or patients.
Raising such expectations can result in increased stress and a tendency to shy away from these responsibilities, ultimately leading to depersonalization, with detrimental effects on work performance and relationships with coworkers and clients.
Among men, emotional burnout may be triggered by social expectations associated with their roles as providers and protectors, which often involve a significant level of responsibility and work-related stress. Research shows that men who experience more professional success also have higher levels of satisfaction with their personal relationships. No such association has been found for women.
This suggests that support in one’s personal life may play a more important role in facilitating success in the workplace for men than for women, the researchers said. They emphasized that for organizations, understanding the specific aspects of employee burnout can serve as a valuable tool for managing stressful situations and enhancing motivation.