Unhappy at home? Work won't make up for it

File photo / Thinkstock
File photo / Thinkstock

Workaholics who are trying to make up for an unhappy home life are deluding themselves, according to a study.

Researchers found a link between how happy someone was in their personal life and how satisfied they were in their job - especially among the main earners in households.

But this did not extend to anyone attempting to use work to compensate for unhappiness in their personal life.

One of the researchers, Professor Yannis Georgellis from Kingston University in London, said: "The life and work domains are definitely correlated. Happiness at home affects your job and vice versa.

"Although there is a clear 'spillover' effect from one area of life to the other, there is no evidence that people who are very unhappy at home will feel 'compensated' by work in any way."

The survey of more than 10,000 people across 30 European countries, published in the British Journal of Management, found that there was a weaker correlation between job and life satisfaction in richer nations.

It was strongest in poorer, Eastern European countries.

And Prof Georgellis added: "The study finds that being happy at work becomes less important to women's overall well-being when they have pre-school children, possibly because this changes working mothers' priorities.

"This alters when children become teenagers when the link between job and overall life satisfaction is strengthened as mothers often return to work."

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