Family Problems Cause Conflicts with Colleagues And Partners, Study


Workers, who spend considerable amount of time worrying about family problems at work, are more likely have conflicts with colleagues and spouses, according to a new study by the University of East Anglia's Norwich Business School and Complutense University of Madrid, Spain.

Researchers said that previous studies showed the role of psychological and physical job demands, role ambiguity, shift work or job insecurity can trigger conflicts between colleagues.

For the study, researchers asked participants to rate the influence of family conflict on their work, and to reveal the level of arguments and rudeness they had with their colleagues and partners.

The study involved 80 couples from 25 various organisations, whose average age was 42 years. Nearly 70 percent of the couples had at least one child. The participants also completed a general socio-demographic questionnaire and a survey twice-a-day during weekdays.

Through the study, the researchers wanted to determine whether worrying about family issues cause interruptions at work and disrupts interaction with colleagues and partners.

The researchers also measured the participant's daily interpersonal conflicts at work and daily family-work conflicts at the end of the day. Their daily interpersonal conflicts at home were reported in the evening.

"The difficulty of focusing on work when distracted by family worries made employees irritable. This led to them reacting negatively towards colleagues instead of using more adaptive strategies, such as seeking social support or being assertive. This negativity is transferred to the home in the form of increased conflict with their partners," study lead Dr Ana Sanz-Vergel said in a statement.

The finding was published in British Psychological Society's Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology.

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