Fun Friday: Happy marriages spark creativity at work

But what if a person is … just not the marrying type?

Fun Friday: Happy marriages spark creativity at work

Friendships in the workplace have long been known to boost productivity among workers. They may even serve to make employees more loyal to the organisation in challenging times, one expert says.

“Those who enjoy spending time with their colleagues are more likely to be motivated and participate in pursuing institutional goals” than those who don’t, Shevaun Lomas, an expert on employee experience, tells HRD.

Beyond office friendships, however, there’s another element that appears to stoke the fire of creativity and innovation among employees: happiness in their love life.

READ MORE: Do pets make better co-workers than your partner?

When workers thrive in the comfort of a secure, stable and happy love life, something magical happens. They tend to build up their “psychological resources” – making them better equipped to face the challenges of the workplace, a new study from Hong Kong Baptist University suggests.   

Such happiness leads them into becoming more creative and innovative problem-solvers, the study found. Investing in one’s relationship at home can thus yield professional benefits.

“Employees satisfied with their marriages experience a positive spillover of psychological resources into their work life,” according to the study led by Professor Xu Huang of HKBU’s School of Business.

The positive vibes don’t end there.

This “spillover effect,” the professor found, becomes “more pronounced” and “more powerfully enriches workplace creativity” when the partners are equally happy in their relationship.

READ MORE: Feeling uninspired? You probably miss your work spouse

But what if a person is … just not the marrying type?

If you’ve been living your life always with a creative edge, even without having to fall back on the psychological comfort of a relationship, then there’s really nothing to worry about.

The spillover effect applies “only to employees who are less creative,” the study found.

In other words, those who need a touch of inspiration in their professional life just might find it in having a happy love life.

In contrast, people who have been highly creative all along seem to be less reliant on the kind of high that a good marriage seems to bring, the findings suggest.

But if your partner starts eating away at your creative energy, RUN!

The study found: “Marriages with dissatisfied spouses and less intimacy consume the employees’ psychological resources as opposed to boosting them.”

Professor Huang launched the study in hopes of encouraging organisations to rethink how they support their employees at home – especially now that the coronavirus pandemic has brought the concept of work/life balance to the fore.

His findings add gravitas to the idea that domestic partners wield so much influence on their loved ones’ performance at work.

“A high-quality marriage is conducive to creativity at work,” the study found. “It is important to consider these relationships and work/life balance when discussing employee welfare.”

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