We’ve long been told that working long hours is detrimental to a successful love life. However, a new study — conducted by the British charity organisation The Tavistock Institute — puts paid to that belief, by proving that those couples who devote more time to their careers tend to make a greater effort to spend quality time with their partners.
The research team, which examined the findings of 280 heterosexual and five homosexual couples, asked participants to record the amount of time they spent working, how happy they were in their relationships and details about their private lives.
“The results show that it does not matter if I am working 34 or 47 hours per day,” explains research co-author Dana Unger. “Furthermore, we found that long working hours might even be positive, as those who work longer are more focused in their private life, which, in turn, promotes relationship satisfaction.”
Researchers, who published the study in the Human Relations journal, also confirmed that working fewer hours makes employees less focused on their leisure time. These individuals set more goals, invest less energy to meet those goals and do not try harder if things are not working out well. This kind of behaviour, according to investigators, is also relevant in relationships — for instance, when dealing with conflict.
“We proved employees do not have to decide whether they want a career or a happy relationship,” says Unger. “It seems having both at the same time is possible.