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Why Companies Want Happy Spouses

The Wall Street Journal looks at companies that “have been launching special clubs and planning events -— part professional development, part party — to acquaint employees’ husbands and wives with the work that consumes their partners’ days. Gatherings give spouses space to vent, and, companies hope, help them understand the next time their partner is stuck late at the office or leaving town on a last-minute business trip.”

21ae342b32d56a47e1b21427_150_marriage“An unhappy partner can make the other partner less effective on the job, research findings suggest. A study published in the October issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family found that men are happier with their lives when their wives are satisfied with the state of their union, regardless of the husbands’ feelings about the marriage. And a recent study in Psychological Science showed that a spouse’s personality can influence his or her partner’s performance at work.”

“Employees whose spouses are conscientious types who tend be organized rule-followers were more likely to perform better at work, win promotions and raises and be happy with their jobs, according to the study’s author, Joshua Jackson, an assistant professor of psychology at Washington University in St. Louis. That effect remained even after the researchers accounted for the workers’ personalities. The paper drew on five years of data from 2,272 couples in Australia.”

Similarly, a new research paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that “marriage makes people happier – not just during the honeymoon period, but consistently, throughout their whole lives. And the reason why is a simple one: It’s all about friendship.”