MONDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) - Rudeness among co-workers can
have negative effects that extend well beyond the workplace, a new
Researchers from Baylor University found people who endure
incivility at work often take that stress home with them, which can
have negative effects on their family and marriages -- and even
their spouses' jobs.
The researchers explained that when employees go home stressed
and distracted, their partners must often pick up the slack and
assume more family responsibilities. These greater demands at home
may interfere with their performance at work.
"This research underlines the importance of stopping incivility before it starts so that the ripple effect of incivility does not impact the employee's family," said study author Merideth Ferguson, assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship at the Baylor University Hankamer School of Business in a university news release. Otherwise, she said, the toxic atmosphere at work may potentially "inflict further damage beyond the workplace...and cross over into the workplace of the partner."
In surveying 190 full-time workers and their partners, the
researchers also found that stress took a toll on the workers'
marriages. Complicating matters, they noted that 75 percent of
these couples had children living in their household.
The study's authors argued that organizations must address the
far-reaching and detrimental effects that ugly behavior in the
workplace can have among employees and their families.
Encouraging workers to seek support through their organization's
employee assistance program, counseling or stress management
resources may help workers cope with rude coworkers, researchers
The study was published online in the
Journal of Organizational Behavior.
The National Institutes of Health provides more information on
stress and anxiety.