Social support at work

Social support is one of the main factors that reduces the impact of stressors on daily life. Social support is not about casual relationships, but rather, refers to a special kind of social relationship in which we exchange emotions, thoughts, and feelings. A supportive person gives his/her time, energy and advice to a person who needs help. We can get various types of support, e.g., emotional support (expressing care, love and trust), informational (providing information or advice to solve a problem), instrumental (financial assistance, help at work or household duties or other material help).

Social support is an extremely important factor in workplace wellbeing. Relationships with other people that we establish throughout our lives are an essential element in our ability to manage stresses of daily life. If our social relationships are positive, they can be a source of immense support, especially if we find ourselves in a difficult situation. 

Work is one of the areas of our lives in which the support provided by our social support turns out to be extremely important. Everyone will experience a difficult situation or conflict at work at some point in their life. Social support helps to reduce stress, tension and anxiety related to work. It can also strengthen the employee's ability to deal with problems which may arise in the future. It becomes a source of protection against difficult situations, such as ill-treatment by other colleagues or superiors. Studies show that a high level of social support prevents the development of various types of disorders (e.g., depression, workaholism, burnout), and can also have positive effects on somatic health, e.g., protects against the development of cardiovascular disease.

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The EMPOWER project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 848180