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Is your work a labour of love?

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By Fiona Reid
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Is your work a labour of love?

PRESSURE at work is damaging our relationships, according to a Dumfries and Galloway charity.

And the regional branch of Relationships Scotland is calling for employers to offer flexible working and relationship support.

Research released by Relationships Scotland and Relate has lifted the lid on the pressure felt by many employees to prioritise work ahead of their relationships – with 40 per cent of those polled believing their bosses think the hardest workers put their work ahead of their family life.
‘The Labour of Love or Love vs Labour’ report shows that employees struggling to balance work and family are more likely to become ill, perform less well and resign; but those satisfied with work and work-life balance are more likely to perform better and be more productive.
And relationship counsellors have revealed that work-life balance is the third biggest strain on couple relationships – after affairs and not understanding each other, and ahead of money worries and sex drive.
John Dougan, manager of Relationships Scotland Dumfries and Galloway, said: “What we see in the counselling and mediation room supports the findings of this research: the influence of work spilling over at home is usually more detrimental to our relationships than the influence of stress from home at work. This research shows that when our work and family life are in conflict, both can suffer.”
He would like to see firms being more pro-active and said: “Employers should consider organising work in ways that do not undermine employees’ relationships, in particular we would like to see more flexible working opportunities for both mums and dads.”
‘Labour of Love or Love vs Labour’ is the first in a series of reports from a major piece of research by Relationships Scotland and Relate. Over 5000 UK adults were surveyed as part of ‘The Way We Are Now’ study into the current state of the nation’s relationships.
To see the full report, go online to bit.ly/TWWAN16
Relationships Scotland’s network provide relationship counselling, family mediation, child contact centres and other family support services. Their work supports individuals, couples and families experiencing problems.

Study findings:
* 12 per cent of employees saying that their boss behaves in an intimidating way towards them.
* But, 63 per cent of employees say they have a good relationship with their boss and three quarters of employees reported good relationships with colleagues
* 30 per cent of employees said they felt pressured to work by their manager even when they are ill
* 21 per cent of employees said attending to care responsibilities is frowned upon at work
* 27 per cent of employees said that they worked longer hours than they would choose

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