If you thought home was the haven where you could de-stress and unwind with ease rather than at work, then think again as a new study reveals that home is more stressful when compared to the office for most individuals.
Per the new study conducted by researchers at Penn State University, the stress levels for women are higher at home when compared to the workplace. This is especially true of women who do not have any children.
Researchers Sarah Damaske, Joshua Smyth and Matthew Zawadzki measured the cortisol levels of 122 Americans (both men and women) from different walks of life and socio-economic backgrounds to determine their findings. Cortisol levels give insight into the stress levels of an individual and the researchers discovered that "people have significantly lower levels of stress at work than at home."
To establish the cortisol levels in an individual, the researchers measured the same in people both during weekends and weekdays. The team found that for most cortisol levels in the subject's saliva was lower during the work day when compared to them being at home. Researchers also quizzed the participants on how they were feeling during the study period.
"Further contradicting conventional wisdom, we found that women as well as men have lower levels of stress at work than at home. In fact, women may get more renewal from work than men, because unlike men, they report themselves happier at work than at home. It is men, not women, who report being happier at home than at work," reveals Damaske, lead author of the study.
While men did not report major changes, women were more inclined to be happier at their workplace per Damaske.
"Part of this might be women are leaving work and then cooking dinner and doing the dishes," Damaske. "Even though men are doing more than they did 30 years ago, it's still not an even distribution."
The researchers also suggest that women may be getting more "renewal from work" when compared to men. Interestingly, even parents - fathers and mothers - had less stress levels at work rather than at home.
However, per the researchers, asking people to work less is not the solution to reducing stress levels.
"Telecommuting, paid sick days, paternity and maternity leaves, are all policies that make it easier for workers to retain the health benefits of employment and for companies to retain the financial benefits of having loyal employees rather than having to deal with constant job turnover," say the researchers.