A co-worker's rudeness can affect your sleep—and your partner's, study finds

workplace
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Rudeness. Sarcastic comments. Demeaning language. Interrupting or talking over someone in a meeting. Workplace incivilities such as these are becoming increasingly common, and a new study from Portland State University and University of Illinois researchers found this behavior has the potential to not only negatively affect an employee's sleep but their partner's as well.

The study, recently published in the journal Occupational Health Science, builds on previous research by examining the relationship between workplace incivility—a common stressful event—and employee sleep in the context of dual-earner couples. The researchers surveyed 305 couples in a variety of jobs.

Charlotte Fritz, the lead author of the study and associate professor of industrial and in PSU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, said when one spouse experiences , they tend to ruminate more about work at home and report insomnia symptoms whether it's trouble falling asleep or waking up in the middle of the night. But the study went a step further examining sleep problems in the employee's spouse and found their sleep is also affected—but only if the couple works in the same company or occupation.

"Because work-linked couples have a better idea of what's going on in each other's work, they can be better supporters," Fritz said. "They probably know more about the context of the incivil act and might be more pulled into the venting or problem-solving process."

Fritz recommends that organizations do everything in their power to create a culture of civility by imposing zero-tolerance policies or offering civility training. But given that incivilities aren't completely avoidable, Fritz also suggests a number of strategies to help employees cope, including mentally detaching from work during non-work hours by spending time with family and friends or enjoying hobbies, and practicing meditation at work and home.

The same is true of the employee's spouse.

"Not talking about work or not supporting your spouse is not the solution," Fritz said. "They can talk about work, vent about it, discuss it, but then they should make an explicit attempt to unwind together and create good conditions for ."


Explore further

How becoming a manager can be a double-edged sword

More information: Charlotte Fritz et al. Workplace Incivility Ruins my Sleep and Yours: the Costs of Being in a Work-Linked Relationship, Occupational Health Science (2018). DOI: 10.1007/s41542-018-0030-8
Provided by Portland State University
Citation: A co-worker's rudeness can affect your sleep—and your partner's, study finds (2018, December 14) retrieved 25 March 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-12-co-worker-rudeness-affect-sleepand-partner.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
37 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Dec 14, 2018
"Workplace incivilities such as these are becoming increasingly common"

-Psychopathy is becoming increasingly common.

" people are not all the same... Some human beings are brilliant and talented, some are dull-witted, and most, conscience or not, are somewhere in between. There are violent people and nonviolent ones, individuals who are motivated by blood lust and those who have no such appetites... The high incidence of [psycho]pathy in human society has a profound effect on the rest of us who must live on this planet, too, even those of us who have not been clinically traumatized. The individuals who constitute this 4 percent drain our relationships, our bank accounts, our accomplishments, our self-esteem, our very peace on earth."
https://www.cassi...path.htm

-This is an unprecedented problem with no apparent solution.

"

Dec 14, 2018
"The World has only one problem, Psychopaths. There are two basic types of Psychopaths, Social and Anti-Social. The essential feature of Psychopaths is a Pervasive, Obssesive- Compulsive desire to force their delusions on others. Psychopaths completely disregard and violate the Rights of others..."

"...it seems to be that the psychopath ENJOYS making others suffer. Just as normal humans enjoy seeing other people happy, or doing things that make other people smile, the psychopath enjoys the exact opposite."

Dec 14, 2018
Some people say I'm a psychopath for turning the TV off of Fox news when it's on in public. I say the people who get mad when fox news is turned off are psychopaths

Dec 14, 2018
Some people say I'm a psychopath for turning the TV off of Fox news
You do in fact suffer from an affliction

"Trump derangement syndrome (TDS) is a neologism describing a reaction to United States President Donald Trump by liberals, progressives, and anti-Trump conservatives, who are said to respond to Trump's statements and political actions irrationally and with little regard to Trump's actual position or action taken.[1] The term has also been used to discredit criticism of Trump's actions."

Dec 15, 2018
Yes, my friend is a psychopath. Whenever he see's and channel that shows about animals he just switch off's the tv.

Dec 15, 2018
Another garbage study. What is incivility? How is defined scientifically? How is it measured? There is no scientific measure of rudeness. How someone subjectively feels about something is hardly a fitting subject of supposedly scientific study. Then the study becomes completely ridiculous by claiming to measure the extent to which workplace incivility disturbs sleep. How would one determine whether rudeness caused sleep difficulties or not? How would one rule out other possible causes? Did the "study" control for previous sleep problems, sleep inducing foods or medications, caffeine or encountering disturbing events or images during the day, traffic accidents, bad news from relatives, horror movies and the like? Nope the study just assumed any difficulty sleeping was due to incivility at work. There is an effort underway to destroy the first amendment by equating speech with violence, so speech can be banned. This study is seems to be a part of that effort. It certainly isnt science.

Dec 15, 2018
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more