Work-life balance: Brits don’t relax until 7.59pm

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  • Work worries are increasingly occupying our brains and eating into our evenings, a new study reports

    You walk through the door, put your bag down and slump down on the sofa, but you don’t stop thinking about work for another 40 minutes, according to a new study.

    Making extra calls, stressing about tomorrow’s to-do list and bringing work niggles home leaves the average Brit unable to switch off until 7.59pm, which means we are working far more than we are paid for.

    ‘With the current economic climate I think everyone is feeling the pressure to put in the extra effort at the office,’ says Pete Robert of, who commissioned the survey. ‘It’s natural to want to keep on top of work problems and get stressed out, but it’s worrying that so many people are taking the stresses from the office home with them.

    ‘Work related stress can seriously affect your private life and make things at home difficult. It is important to concentrate on things that relax them in order to leave work related stress where it belongs – in the office.’

    With a third of those surveyed reporting arguments with their partner over office problems and more than half ending up doing work on days off or when they were supposed to be on holiday, the work-life balance is tipping in the office’s favour.  

    It doesn’t get much better for women either. The conclusion of a new study by sociologists at the University of Toronto, published in the Journal of Health and Social behaviour, found that women – even women who are single and childless – felt more guilt about taking work-related phone calls or emails at home.

    The more work-related calls and emails women took after hours, the more guilt and distress they felt; no such increase was reported by men.


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