Bad bosses bully families, too

By Shayna Brouker • Published: October 29th, 2013
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

We’ve all had one: A workaholic, a screamer, taskmaster, clock-watcher, micromanager, or just plain jerk. A bad boss comes in many forms, and a toxic work environment can really have a negative impact on your health and slip into areas of your life outside of the office — including your home. A new study from the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that a bullying boss in particular can hurt not only you, but your family too.

It’s no secret that work is a number-one source of stress for many people, and for those with families, it’s hard to leave it at the office. A study from the University of Albany – State University of New York found that employees enjoying supportive work environments were in turn more supportive of their husbands and wives, while those working in high-stress places were not. Research found that the kids of work-weary parents were more stressed, too, and it showed up in behavioral issues.

Furthermore, those who suffer in oppressive offices tend to slack on sleep, exercise and hygiene, exacerbating the problem. Symptoms of depression increase, as well as instances of cardiovascular disease — clearly linked with job stress. It’s a vicious cycle, and it starts with the supervisor. Bosses should keep an eye on their employees work-life balance if they want to get the most out of their employees.

But bosses can help by lending support and accommodating their workers’ needs to the best of their ability, while still accomplishing the mission. Allowing employees to set their own schedules helps hugely. And simply listening is underestimated but goes a long way toward easing anxiety. Bosses set the tone for their office and can set a good example by setting work aside come five o’clock to make time for family.