Workaholics who lose out on love

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UP TO a million people are "workaholics", working an average of 60 hours a week, but their obsession with their jobs often hits both their productivity and their personal lives, according to a report published yesterday.

In interviews with the Institute of Personnel and Development, professionals blamed heavy workloads or "sheer love of the job" for their long hours. But 75 per cent of people working more than 48 hours a week admitted they had made mistakes because of tiredness, and only a minority believed workaholics were more productive.

One in three people working long hours conceded that relationships with a spouse or partner had been strained, while one in eight said they had broken up with their partner because of the amount of time they spent at work.

In the institute's survey of 8,000 people across the UK, one in three people working more than 48 hours a week claimed to be addicted to their job. A similar proportion said they spent a lot of time solving problems caused by inefficiency in their organisation.

In a separate study, professionals were found to be far more insecure than manual workers. A survey of 340 workers by the Cambridge University Centre for Business Research concluded that companies wanted cuts in management - despite a buoyant economy. Job insecurity among professional workers increased by 28 per cent between 1986 and 1997, despite an overall drop in unemployment.

Many workers said they were asked to perform more tasks than before because of downsizing, and 60 per cent said the pace of work had increased.