'Working hours affect relationships'

Published on Nov 24, 2006 08:27 PM IST

Couples are jeopardising relationships by putting work ahead of their personal lives, says a UK study.

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None | ByAsian News International, London

Couples are "seriously jeopardising" their relationships by putting work ahead of their personal lives, a new report has found.

In a survey of 1000 workers conducted by researchers in Scotland, 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.

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,” he was quoted by the Scotsman, as saying.

"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."

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