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Work Coming Between Lovers 2006-11-23

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest, Scotland, Statistics.

Couples are ‘seriously jeopardising’ their relationships by putting work ahead of their personal lives, a new report has found.In a survey of more than 1 000 workers, almost half admitted they put more time and effort into their relationships with office colleagues than with their partners.

The ‘critical hour’ between finishing work and sitting down for dinner is one of the most significant bonding times between couples. But it is under threat because socialising with workmates can appear a more attractive prospect.

To make matters worse, more than a third of Scots confessed to carrying out more caring tasks for workmates — such as going for teas, coffees and snacks and helping them with errands in their lunch hours — than they do for loved ones at home.

But it is the ‘critical hour’ which has become a battleground for today’s professionals, according to ‘The At Home Society’, a body which encourages couples to reclaim time for themselves.

Dr Roger Henderson, the report’s author, said over-socialising with workmates was short-sighted considering the average length of time employees spend in each job is four years.

‘Professionals who think staying late won’t make a difference to their home lives are seriously mistaken.

‘Whatever you think you’re achieving by spending this hour with colleagues, do be aware this is a sacrifice of vital relationship-building time at home. You may regard your personal relationship as solid, but it’s all too easy to take it for granted. Over time, the consequences of prioritising workmates instead of winding down at home will, in my opinion, lead to serious problems.

‘Personal relationships need constant nurturing, so make sure you show the same generosity of spirit in the home as you do at work, through small acts of love and concern for your partner.’

However, Dr Henderson admitted a number of men deliberately chose to go to the pub to avoid the ‘witching hour’ at home when babies and children were being fed and given a bath.

The problem was also more of an issue in cities rather than rural areas.

The Assistant Director of CBI Scotland Mr.David LonsdaleĀ  said most employers were aware of the difficulties arising from juggling work and domestic arrangements.

‘Indeed, having a poor work-life balance can often result in stress, absenteeism, and less productive employees.

‘This is not in the interests of employers and helps explain why firms are increasingly aware and supportive of the benefits of providing flexible working practices and absence-management policies, and continuing to invest in time and project management training.’

The research also found stay-at-home partners often accuse their other halves of neglecting them but many are too anxious to raise the subject, it is claimed.

Disturbingly, more than one in ten Scottish couples is exercising an ‘amoratorium’ — an agreement to put their relationship on hold in order for one or both of them to get ahead in their career.

The culture of staying late at work appears to have got worse over the past year. Last year ‘The At Home Society’ revealed 19 per cent of the Scottish workforce regularly stayed in the office until 20:00. This figure has now risen to 34 per cent of all Scottish workers.

Chris Barter, spokesman for the trades union ‘Unison’, said sometimes employees had little choice on working late.

‘There is increasing pressure in terms of workload and far more pressure to deliver than ever before. This means people stay on later than they want to which is the result of problems with how things are organised by employers.’

The study involved interviews with 1 120 working and cohabiting adults.



1. DCD - 2006-11-27

Dating Colleagues shows how the workplace is a good place to meet people, date and begin a life partnership.
Why You MUST Go To The Pub shows that networking is important to success because it is not what you know but who you know and being in the right place at the right time.

The trick is to get the balance right. You have to give up something to get something, and it’s only a good bargain if it is worth it at the end.

For example, why is it either (a) go to the pub or (b) go home to the partner? Why can’t it be (c) meet up with partner? — at least sometimes?

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