Here at Hoppy we believe your home should be a haven after a tough day at the office but for over a third of stressed out British workers (36%), running their home is as or more stressful than their day job, with one in three working men (30%) staying late in the office to skive household chores, new research finds.

The Happy Home study, conducted by YouGov for Hoppy, the UK’s #1 home management site, reveals that 40% of the nation are stressed out about their household to-do list, and 75% feel unhappy with their current home environment.

  • Over a third of frazzled British workers (36%)[i] find running their home as or more stressful than their day jobs
  • One in three working men (30%)[ii] stay late at the office to ‘skive’ household chores
  • 28% [iii] of working men would rather go to the gym than do the dishes
  • Women ‘work’ the equivalent of 14 more days every year[iv] in the home than men 

We teamed up with Chartered psychologist, Dr Linda Papadopoulos, who explains; 

I regularly see couples in my clinic who are struggling to juggle the demands of running a home, on top of other pressures such as career and family, and this often leads to cracks in their relationship. 

“The secret to maintaining a harmonious home life is really to keep expectations realistic. Accept a bit of clutter or mess from time to time, and prioritise quality time with the people that matter. It’s also really important to respect one another and divide and conquer. Your partner or housemate is so much more than a cleaner or a cook, you both need down time to make sure you are nourished and can sustain healthy relationships and the demands of everyday life.”

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Dr Linda’s Top 10 Secrets to a Happier Home

1) Have realistic expectations

To maintain a happy life at home, try to keep expectations realistic. While most people want to come back after work to a totally clean home, accept a bit of mess from time to time. Manage your expectations and tailor your day to what is right for you. Nutrition and sleep is just as important so ensure to eat well and get a good night's rest as this will ensure that you are waking up feeling ready and refreshed the next day

2) Tailor your routine based on what your core values are as a family

If a strong work ethic is one of your core family values, encourage your kids to get involved in some of the household tasks such as helping with cleaning the dishes after dinner. Not only will this teach them the importance of a good work ethic but also helps to reduce stress as a family

3) Plan for extra stresses and strains

Households can get busy for a number of different reasons so it's important to try to plan ahead as the more prepared you are the better that you will feel and the less stressful things will seem. Set aside a few minutes with your partner to discuss how this will work – for example planning your work wardrobe the night before and doing the weekly wash on a Saturday in advance so you’re not stressed on Monday morning

4) Assign responsibilities in the household

Ensure that everyone in the household is given a role and that they know exactly what is expected of them in terms of household tasks. Try to distribute tasks equally and if there is a certain task that someone in the household enjoys or excels in, then assign that responsibility to them

5) Make your life easier by developing habits

It’s easy to leave stuff in the house and come back to these household duties later. Be proactive and get into the habit of getting stuff done straight away. For example, clean the dishes after eating, make the bed in the morning or add items running out to the shopping list straight away. Not only will this make you feel better, but this will put you in the right frame of mind for things being more manageable

6) Try to eat meals together

While it’s tempting to eat your meal in front of the TV after a long day at work, it’s important to try and make some time to eat meals with others in your household. By sitting down and eating together, this is a good time to catch up with what’s going on in the family but also provide an opportunity to raise any issues before it gets too big

7) Use technology to manage your finances

There is a huge link between financial stress and mental health. Some people avoid opening their bills or mortgage statements and this can become overwhelming. The key to having a happy home is to feel on top of these things. Try to sit down with your partner and look at what’s coming in and what's coming out. Using technology such as home management sites like Hoppy is a great way to be better organised with your finances at home and lessen the strain on relationships

8) Be part of a wider community

Being connected is important and research has shown that those who are more socially connected have higher levels of wellbeing. Whether it’s volunteering or giving advice online, this can help to reduce stress as a family and improve happiness in the household

9) Reframe gender roles

Households should not fall into the gender stereotypes that the cooking should be done the majority of the time by the female of the house and gardening by the man. Being flexible on the roles of the house will help to reduce stress and anxiety and ensure that things will feel a little easier. This will also ensure a more evenly split balance of workload

10) Develop a sense of safety and security

As hard as it is to do at times because of the pressures of working long hours, try to set aside some time with your partner to discuss your priorities and responsibilities in the household. Talk to your partner on whether you are making the right financial decisions when saving money or who is responsible for fixing things that break in the house. By investing time in making these decisions, this will help give you a sense of security

[i] Data taken from YouGov online research of 2,000 Brits commissioned by Hoppy in August 2018. Percentage based on GB workers who are stressed. Where footnotes are not specified, percentages are based on all Brits.

[ii] Percentage based on all GB workers.

[iii] Percentage based on all GB workers.

[iv] Calculation based on total time spent on household management for all Brits:

Men - 37.7hrs per month

Women – 47.5hrs per month

Over a year, this is the equivalent to women working on average 14 days* more every year than men on household management based on a standard working day of 8 hours.

[v] Calculation as above