How a Strong Marriage Spices Up Your Creativity at Work

By Professor Huang Xu


Do you consider yourself to be a creative force at work or do you often hit creative roadblocks? Creativity is not an easy trait to understand or nurture. From a psychological perspective, some people are naturally born to be more creative while others, simply less so. Some even say that creativity is dependent on childhood experiences before the age of three and that creativity may not change unless an individual experiences a particularly impactful event. 


With this being the case, how can we boost creativity at work? The answer could lie in an unexpected place: building stronger relationships at home and establishing a better work-family balance. Our research shows that there is a strong positive correlation between happy marriages and creativity at work. 


Employees in a happy marriage experience a boost in psychological resources that are essential for being creative and innovative at work. The positive spillover effect of psychological resources into work life is even more pronounced when both partners in a marriage are happy, powerfully enriching workplace creativity.  


This spillover effect mainly affects less creative personalities, who see their workplace creativity score in the 4 to 4.5 range make a dramatic leap into the 4.5 to 5 range. Highly creative personalities receive much less significant benefits from the family-work resource spillover, as their workplace creativity only barely increases and remains within their typical 4.5 to 5 range. 


While marriage is understandably seen as a personal and intimate matter, it is still an area where businesses can provide greater support for their employees while maintaining respect for privacy. We should look at how employer-provided services can benefit happy marriages and ultimately drive workplace creativity.



Establishing family-friendly policies


In the West, employers can be more willing to offer flexible working hours and family-friendly policies that promote better work-life balance, thus giving employees more resources for creativity. For example, some companies allow employees to leave earlier to take care of their kids or pick them up from school. 


Previous studies echo the observation that American multinationals and European companies focus attention on better work-life balance by granting flexible working practices with fewer working hours and more generous parental leave compared to their Asia counterparts. 


With the COVID-19 pandemic shifting the way we conduct our business, beneficial work-from-home policies can also make a big impact on the wellbeing of employees’ relationships at home–and their creativity as a result. But when it is time to be back at the office, providing an in-house counselor could help relieve and resolve some psychological problems for employees, and help address and mitigate marital issues. Furthermore, helping employees take care of children in the event of marital issues can also be a company service of critical importance. 


Besides services that seek to resolve existing family issues, work-life initiatives that support and boost employees and their families can be very beneficial. Inviting couples and their children to company parties that cater to their interests can help families feel more familiar with the workplace and each other, fostering a stronger sense of community and ultimately boosting workplace creativity and satisfaction.



Inspiring less creative employees


While highly creative people are naturally predisposed to developing new work solutions, less creative employees need help to gain the necessary psychological resources to be innovative. In addition to the benefits that are derived from a strong and stable marriage, companies can do more to ensure these employees push themselves and reach their creative potential. 


One step is creating a knowledge-sharing company culture. In promoting the cross-pollination of ideas and collective sharing, companies can help employees of all creative levels thrive by learning from one another and bring about concrete returns for the business. An analytics company cited a 147% increase in performance in organizations with highly engaged teams versus companies with less engaged workers.


Having the proper motivation in place can also help drive creativity. Ensuring that the work is challenging and interesting for employees also helps drive their sense of intrinsic motivation. We see that when people enjoy their work and take great interest in it, they genuinely become more creative.


Even in occupations that may seem less creative to outsiders, there is strong reason to believe that a worker who is highly interested in their work will be extremely creative. This creativity can take the form of an employee finding new ways to make their life easier and accomplish their tasks more efficiently. This type of creativity presents a massive opportunity for further research and development. 


Starting with supporting a strong foundation at home, companies can now better understand how their focused policies and measures can positively affect employee creativity and boost their performance.



About the Author



Professor Huang Xu, Associate Dean (Research & Postgraduate Studies), Hong Kong Baptist University School of Business.



Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email


Essential Gaming Slang Terms for True Gamers

Essential Gaming Slang Terms for True Gamers

Gaming is not just a hobby; it’s a culture with its own unique language. Understanding slang and jargon is crucial for having an immersive experience and connecting with fellow gamers. From the acronyms that define player roles to the phrases that capture epic moments, mastering these slang terms is a must for every true gamer.

LinkedIn Launches Tools to Boost Job Seekers' Safety and Confidence

LinkedIn Launches Tools to Boost Job Seekers’ Safety and Confidence

Networking platform LinkedIn has introduced a range of tools to empower job seekers to confidently navigate their job search process while ensuring their safety and security. The latest updates include the implementation of verifications on job posts, enabling the display of verified information about job posters or their companies.

A Step-by-Step Guide

The Power of a Wikipedia Page for Your Business: A Step-by-Step Guide

The one thing that builds trust between your company and its potential customers is having its own Wikipedia page. It is the first thing that shows up when someone looks up your company (besides your website of course!) and gives potential customers all the information they might need about your business.

Top 5 Unique Pet Care Startups to Watch

From Diagnostics to Play Dates: Top 5 Unique Pet Care Startups to Watch

All pet owners out there understand the feeling of wanting to do whatever it takes to make their furry companions’ lives just a little bit more comfortable. It is perhaps that exact feeling that has made the average pet owner spend over US$1,300 on pet care a year. According to a 2021 survey conducted by the market research firm OnePoll, 52% of Americans spend more on their pets than they do on themselves each year.

Course5 Intelligence Gains US$55 Million Funding Boost

Course5 Intelligence Gains US$55 Million Funding Boost; Closes First Round Successfully with 360 ONE Asset’s Tech Fund

Analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions company Course5 Intelligence has recently announced its plans to raise a funding round of USD 55 million. The initial closing of the funding round was achieved through the participation of 360 ONE Asset Management Limited’s Tech Fund, which specializes in investing in promising technology companies. Leading the round, 360 ONE Asset invested US$28 million in Course5.

How to Find Your Company’s North Star Metric to Ensure Success

How to Find Your Company’s North Star Metric to Ensure Success

In the world of business, having a singular goal to focus on can be the key to success. That’s where the North Star Metric (NSM) comes in. Coined by startup investor Sean Ellis, the NSM is the measure of the value a company is delivering to its customers and is used as a means to predict the growth of the business.