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Stressed at work? Check your home life

By Hamza Ali, special to

Can't wait to get home? You may want to slow down a bit. New research has found that unresolved problems at home could result in stress at work.

Researchers at Concordia University in Canada and the University of Montreal surveyed 1,954 employees from 63 different organizations found that it's not just looming deadlines and crazy bosses that lead to work burnouts, stresses at home can be just as important to work place mental health.

In 2011/12 stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 10.4 million days lost due work-related ill health in the U.K. alone, according to figures from the U.K watchdog the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

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According the International Labor Organization (ILO) stress is a factor in between 50 and 60 per cent of all lost working days, a huge cost in terms of both human distress and impaired economic performance.

"Work stress has to do with work conditions and human resources practices, while family stress is related to your marital and parental, and economic status, as well as strain you may face with your partner and children, as well as problems related to work-family conflicts," says Alain Marchand, associate professor at the University of Montreal's and lead author of research.

The study found that fewer mental health problems were experienced by those living with a supportive partner, young children, on higher household incomes, less work-family conflicts, and greater access to the support of a social network outside the workplace.

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The less stress there was at home the less likely the worker was to burnout at work.

All this means, the study argues, is that there's more to burnouts than heavy workloads.

"Researchers need to expand their perspective, so that they get a full picture of the complexity of factors that determine individuals' mental health," said Steve Harvey, dean of Concordia's John Molson School of Business in a statement.

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The researchers also looked other common stressors typically found in the workplace, such as emotional exhaustion, poor use of skills, high psychological demands, job insecurity and lack of authority and found that a supportive environment at work and home led to the best outcomes for worker when dealing with stress.

They also found that fewer mental health problems were reported when employees are supported at work, when expectations of job recognition are met, and when people feel secure in their jobs.

By Hamza Ali, special to, follow him at @Hamza_M_Ali