Previous studies have linked work-related stress to a range of mental and physical illnesses, such as depression and obesity.
This study shows how stress can be a vicious circle, adversely affecting the way employees perform at work, which can lead to even more workplace stress.
The mental and physical well-being of employees were at risk if they came to work still stressed from the day before, according to Professor Wayne Hochwarter, author of the study.
The main ingredient to taking the pain out of a stressful day at work is a supportive partner at home, a new study has confirmed.
It may not seem like a breakthrough but the study, from Florida State University, is the first to quantify the effects that a sympathetic partner can do at home and at work.
Prof. Hochwarter found that highly stressed employees had a 25 per cent higher level of concentration levels if they had a harmonious home life.
Employees with strong home support were 25 per cent less likely to suffer from after-work fatigue.
They were also 33 per cent more likely to have positive relationships with colleagues, and a 20 per cent higher level of job satisfaction.
Having an awareness of a partner’s daily work demands, such as deadlines, a lack of adequate resources and bad bosses, could ensure that couples always communicated, and a partner could see when their loved one was underplaying or exaggerating a problem.
The ability to bring a partner back to the middle, building them up when they feel down in the dumps, or talking them down when they are overly agitated, also played a crucial role.
It was not advisable, however, to compete with each other in terms of who had the worse day, or keep tabs on who had been more supportive of whom.
Professor Hochwarter said: ‘When stress enters any relationship, it has the potential to either bind people together or break them apart. Successful couples almost always kept a steady supply of support resources on reserve to be tapped on particularly demanding days.’