The Effects of Relationship Problems on Work Performance

Posted by: Dr. Justin D'Arienzo, Psy.D., ABPP

The Effects of Relationship Problems

On Work Performance

It is important for employers to understand how stress impacts their employees’ work performance and to understand about the effects of relationship problems on work performance. In order to maintain effective work performance, employers need to maintain a keen eye on their workers and offer them the necessary assistance when they are having relationship problems. Having relationship difficulties with a spouse or partner can dramatically impact one’s work performance. To maintain a healthy and high performing workforce, employers should offer benefits, trainings or workshops for their employees to ensure they have healthy sound relationships which then greatly enhances the bottom line. D’Arienzo Psychological Group, a Jacksonville, Florida Clinical, Forensic, and Organizational Psychological Firm offers such services to HR departments as well as to individuals. Contact us today at 904-379-8094 for assistance.

The Effects of Relationship Problems and Work was written for D’Arienzo Psychological Group by University of North Florida (UNF) Psychology Student and Future Industrial Organizational Psychologist, Brandon Araujo, in January 2013. His article offers great insight about the importance of keeping workers emotionally fit and mentally healthy in their marital relationships.

The Effects of Relationship Problems On Work Performance

Many people struggle with stressful and burdensome relationships that take a toll on their mental and even physical health. This stress does not only affect their relationship but can also impact one’s abilities at work. In today’s work environment stress is becoming one of the largest problems for employers. “A study of personnel today and IRS Employment review found that more than 40% of employees had reported an increase in stress in the last year” (Jehangir et. al, 2011). According to Soares, Jacobs, and Adaramola (2012), these dramatic increases in stress will lead to poorer performance levels in the workplace due to their findings that stress has a strong curvilinear relationship with performance. As stress decreases performance increases until a certain point; then as stress continues to decrease performance begins to decrease. Mirela and Madalina (2011) found that with increased levels of stress in the workplace there were higher reports of accidents that occurred causing a decline in revenue for employers.

Relationship difficulties are just one source of stress that impacts work performance but this type of stress is one of the most influential. Chaoping (2013) discovered that employees with a high level of relationship problems “are not able to exert any further psychological and emotional resources than they currently use to perform their tasks at work, making them less likely to develop an affective bond with the organization.” Chaoping also states that relationship conflicts “had a significant impact on work outcomes, including their affective commitment, normative commitment, and task performance.”

In order to prevent poor work performance resulting from relationship stress one must solve their relationship problems. In order to solve these problems one must learn to communicate their thoughts about problems and issues with their partner. A relationship counselor or psychologist may be helpful in identifying and solving the problem(s) in the relationship.


Dr. Justin D’Arienzo, Jacksonville, Florida, Clinical and Forensic Psychologist, and Relationship Expert, can be contacted directly at 904-379-8094 to discuss services available for your employees. He is Jacksonville’s soft skills expert!