Business productivity hit by strained home life of corporate high-fliers

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Groundbreaking research published this week reveals that problems in romantic relationships at home are having a major impact on how the UK’s high-earners perform at work.

A report by YouGov 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 report, Relationship Breakdown And The Workplace, also reveals that the issue is much more prevalent among executives, with high-earners three-and-a-half times more likely to have major difficulties in a romantic relationship than the general population.

The findings have led to calls for UK companies to invest in equipping their key players and decision-makers with the skills to build strong relationships and avoid damaging conflict at home.

Dr Andrea Taylor-Cummings is a co-founder of 4 Habits Consulting, which partnered with law firm Howard Kennedy, the Marriage Foundation and the Relationship Foundation on the YouGov report. She said:

“The 40% figure should be a wake-up call, because it is roughly the same as the proportion of people who will encounter mental health problems in the their lifetime.

“Poor mental health was recently estimated by Deloitte to cost UK employers £33 billion to £42 billion every year, which is why UK firms spend a lot of money trying to tackle this issue. But these same firms are doing nothing about domestic romantic difficulties – something that also have a very serious impact on employee wellbeing and performance.

“That this is three-and-a-half times more common with high-earners should be especially concerning for UK plc, because these people are very often employed in executive positions and make decisions that can have major implications for the business.”

The YouGov research found that just under 70% of these high-earners have had significant romantic relationship difficulties while in their current job or a similar role. This was significantly higher than the 20% of people in the general population who reported recent relationship difficulties in previous research by the YouGov team.

The new research also found that 62% of those high-earners who had encountered problems with a spouse or partner believed that their performance and productivity had been damaged.

“It means that slightly more than 40 per cent of people in the serve had performed poorly at work because of romantic problems,” said Dr Taylor Cummings. “That’s not acceptable. Companies need to be equipping people to help prevent these difficulties from happening or to deal with the better when they do.”

Read more about Relationship Breakdown and the Workplace on the 4 Habits website.

Jonathan Taylor-Cummings