• Valentine’s Day is approaching – But are you married to your job?

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    If you worry that you’re ‘married to the job’, you’re not alone – a huge number of Brits think they are too, and it’s often having a negative effect on their relationships.

    A recent survey of 2,000 employed adults found 45 per cent habitually work outside of their contracted hours for over an hour a day – every day, including weekends.

    More than half put in the extra hours because they simply have too much work to do, a quarter feel pressured to by their boss and 18 per cent fear they might lose their job otherwise. And this additional time has negatively impacted their health (28 per cent), their family life (26 per cent) and their levels of stress (41 per cent).

    Commissioned by Perkbox, the research also found one in 10 have seen their relationship fall apart due to their dedication to their jobs.

    The company’s co-founder Chieu Cao said: “The research shows just how important it is to have balance in life. While it’s great to see so many of us dedicated to our jobs, the impact this is having on our wellbeing because we’re taking it to the extreme is worrying.

    “With Valentine’s Day approaching, the findings serve as a stark reminder about priorities – and of course, our partners should be right up there. So if your other half has slipped down the pecking order because of your workload, perhaps this Thursday is the perfect time to re-address this.”

    The study also found 52 per cent believe technology – for instance being able to check emails on your phone – has directly led to an increase in the number of us working longer than contracted. Whether it be by text, email or phone, seven in 10 have been contacted about work-related matters by their boss or colleagues. Further to this, a quarter admit they spend more time messaging their boss and work colleagues than they do their own friends.

    Some 23 per cent of those polled often check work emails at home, around a fifth do admin and one in 10 will prepare reports in their free-time.

    Three in 10 said they feel like they’re always at work – even when they’re at home – and the same proportion admit they’re regularly kept up at night thinking about their job. For a fifth, their working habits have meant they haven’t always taken all their allocated annual leave. As a result, 26 per cent have complained to their boss about all the additional work they feel obliged to do.

    Cao added: “As employers, we need to change certain work practices. We need to start managing people based on their outputs, leading by example and empowering them to make their own decisions.

    “Our objective should no longer be keeping employees engaged at work, it should be catering for their entire employee experience, so they feel fulfilled inside and outside of it.”

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    Katy Phillips


    All stories by: Katy Phillips