UK employees are prioritising their job over personal relationships due to immense pressure being put on them in the workplace.
According to a new report from Relate and Relationships Scotland, a third of workers say their boss thinks work should come before family life. A third also said their employer thinks their ideal employee should be available 24 hours a day.
Some 30% of employees felt pressured to work when ill, with 21% admitting that missing work to care for elderly relatives or children is frowned upon. Worryingly, 27% of respondents said that working longer hours is having a negative affect on their mental health.
Employees are calling on their bosses to offer relationship support, as 43% of respondent’s cited it as a necessary workplace perk.
Sir Cary Cooper, president of Relate said: “As this study highlights, work-life balance in this country is shockingly poor and this is hugely damaging for our relationships and overall wellbeing – as well as for productivity. Employers need to take more responsibility for the pressure that stress and lack of work-life balance can put on relationships at home.”
As well as the impact of work pressures on employees’ home life, the report also found an undercurrent of bullying in the workplace, as 12% of employees feel their boss behaves in an intimidating way towards them.
Despite this worrying trend, workplace relations appear to be positive on the whole, as 63% of employees enjoy a good relationship with their boss, with three quarters of respondents saying they get along with their colleagues.
Cooper added: “It’s reassuring that on the whole people have good relationships with their colleagues. However, given the alarming undercurrent of workplace bullying highlighted by the study, we also suggest employers think carefully about how they can better foster good workplace relationships.”