Boardroom to dining room

WHILE some find it easy to escape from their workload at the end of the day, many other people tend to bring their work-related issues home into the family environment to be resolved.

More and more, I find myself turning to my partner, family or friends for business advice. Apparently, as it turns out, I am not the only one; in a recent national survey, 51% of people cited their nearest and dearest as being their number one “business advisor”, as opposed to their accountant or work colleagues.

For issues that cannot be resolved during working hours, I do find myself bringing my work issues into my own living space. It may be that these troubles crop up at the dining table, chatting in bed late at night or over a coffee at the breakfast bar before setting off to work in the morning.

I have discovered one old saying to be true, that “a problem shared is a problem halved”. From past experience I know that when I do tend to bottle things up and try to deal with everything myself, I slowly start to slide towards meltdown and eventually explode. Talking to others helps to release my safety valve, reducing the stress and pressure that builds up.

It is also said that many people do not always have this support mechanism to fall back upon.

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Even talking about work in the home environment can cause problems, especially if the relationship is not built upon firm ground to start with. This could be due to either jealousy or just plain lack of understanding; either way it might be a recipe for disaster within a relationship.

I have to admit I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have someone else to talk about my trials and tribulations. Very often all I need is a good sounding board, someone for me just to bounce my ideas back and forth, a little bit like playing tennis. But how do our honorary business advisors feel about this?

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My partner James operates as a professional osteopath based in Newmarket. During his day he’ll talk with, as well as physically treat, approximately 10 or more patients who come to him with all sorts of problems. I ask myself if he really wants to sit and listen to my current state of affairs at the end of a busy day.

I count myself lucky that my partner does really understand the nature of what it is that I do, and also realizes that running my own company will often spill over into our relationship a lot of the time. I’m thankful that he listens to my needs and together we work out solutions that will help my business to move forward.

I am also very much aware that there is a point in a relationship where you do have to put your work to one side.

Much of the time now, after we’ve discussed the problems of the day, we chill out, perhaps by going out for a meal together, spending time on some DIY in the house, or something completely different, like taking our new puppy Archie for dog training sessions – anything that’s definitely not work related.

As you’ve probably guessed, I really do believe that it’s important to talk things out at home, concerning work-related issues. However like everything else it does have to become a very fine balancing act and not an all-consuming event.

I think that it’s important to remember that we work to live, not live to work.

n What’s your view? Get in touch with Rachel Ducker via email at

n Apparition Marketing & Design is holding a competition for aspiring designers. For more details, email

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