Poor relationships damage workplace-productivity

Research done for us by YouGov reveals that problems in romantic relationships at home are having a major impact on how the UK’s high-earners perform at work and hence, their productivity at work. 

The research shows that more than 40% of people with household incomes of at least £100,000 have encountered domestic problems that were severe enough to significantly damage their productivity in the office.

The figure is roughly the same as the proportion of people who will encounter mental health problems in their lifetime.

But while most UK businesses invest in helping their employees prevent and manage mental health issues, almost nothing is being done to help them build better relationships at home.

Poor mental health was recently estimated by Deloitte to cost UK employers £33 billion to £42 billion every year.

Quite rightly, firms spend a lot of money trying to tackle it. They do it because it is the right thing to do for their staff and also because it improves their bottom line.

But these same firms are doing virtually nothing about something that also has a very serious impact on well-being and performance.

The research on the damage that romantic problems at home does to workplace productivity was commissioned by us, along with the Marriage Foundation and law firm Howard Kennedy.

It found that 70% of people earning more than £100,000 a year have had significant romantic relationship difficulties while in their current job or a similar role.

Some 60% of those high-earners who had encountered problems with a spouse or partner told researchers that the issues had damaged performance and productivity.

This means as we highlighted at the top, that slightly more than 40 per cent of people in the survey had performed poorly at work because of romantic problems.

That’s not acceptable. Companies need to be equipping people to help prevent these difficulties from happening or to deal with them better when they do.

How do we help when trying to improve productivity at work?

Well, we don’t have one tip for improving productivity at work – we have four!

These four habits allow people to strengthen or repair their romantic relationships and improve their performance in the workplace.

The 4 Habits for better productivity at work are…

  • Be CURIOUS, not critical – which helps people get over the hurdle of frustration that comes from unmet expectations.
  • Be CAREFUL, not crushing – which helps people get over the hurdle of poor conflict resolution approaches and the damage they can cause in relationships.
  • ASK, don’t assume – which helps people get over the hurdle of frustration that comes from mistrust and disrespect that can creep into relationships over time.
  • CONNECT before you correct – which is all about getting better at communicating real value and appreciation, and holding back on that need to give “constructive feedback” that so many of us are all too good at! 
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Relationship breakdown and the workplace - YouGov Research Report

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