For the study, researchers looked at the lives of more than 600 academics, about half of whom had significant others working in the same sector.
They asked what hours they worked, how strong their boundaries were between work and home life, and how often one sphere affected the other.
The researchers found that those with a so-called “work-linked” partner tended to struggle more to maintain a healthy work-life balance. They also typically worked longer hours.
Gail Kinman, the study leader from the University of Bedfordshire, said that an “increasing number of couples” have similar occupations – a situation that is “particularly common” in education.
“The findings suggest that doing similar work to your partner means that work issues are more likely to ‘spill over’ into home life and threaten work-life balance,” a major newspaper quoted her as saying.
“Evidence was also found that having a partner who does similar work can be beneficial, as this can enhance mutual understanding of working conditions and increase support during stressful times.
“Nonetheless, the findings suggest that work-linked couples may need more support to help them set boundaries between work and home,” Kinman added.
The study will be published in Experimental Biology and Medicine.