Home life eats into working hours

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 January, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 January, 2002, 12:00am

Over a quarter of office workers have arrived for work late and left early because of domestic problems in the past year, while almost one in two said they had taken leave to look after affairs at home, according to a survey.

The study of 519 workers by Polytechnic University's Centre for Social Policy Studies also found that nearly half of workers have had to bring office work home on days off, and one in three brought work home in the evening.

A total of 25.8 per cent admitted arriving late and leaving early because of domestic problems, while 47 per cent said they had taken leave solely to take care of problems at home.

Centre researcher Chan Kam-wah called for more family-friendly work places.

'The separation between work and home is not clear-cut,' he warned. 'Pressure at home contributes to lower productivity, and pressure and competition at work could make domestic problems worse, including domestic violence.'

Suggestions made in the survey included providing child-care in the office and paternity leave.