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Teachers least likely to socialise with colleagues, survey finds

When the bell rings to wrap up the work day, socialising with colleagues appears to be the last thing on teachers’ minds. That’s according to the results of a poll of over 2,000 professionals from the public and private sectors in the UK.

The research, conducted by Boundless, the events and experiences club for public sector workers, found that teachers socialise outside of school less than twice a month on average (1.9 times). This compared with nurses – the most sociable profession in the public sector – who arranged out-of-work meet-ups on average 3.4 times a month, followed by doctors who met up 2.6 times a month.

The study also found that teachers were amongst the professions that spent the least time outdoors in the fresh air, at only three hours a day, including the working week and weekends.

In addition, only 7 per cent of teachers reported to be very physically active, compared to 30 per cent of doctors.

Ian Holmes-Lewis, director at Boundless, said: “After educating, inspiring and challenging a classroom of 30 children or teenagers all day it’s little wonder that teachers are ready to head straight home for a rest!

“Many teachers will be parents themselves too, so they are doubtless juggling the demands of a great many young people – often with their own welfare at the bottom of the list.”

“Our survey found that spending time with friends and family were amongst the highest sources of happiness for a majority of the population. So, while the pressures of life can make it challenging to carve some time for fun and relaxation, we’d encourage teachers and all other professions to try to plan some time in for yourself and to meet with friends.

“Many of our members find that planning leisure time in advance is the key to having a more balanced and harmonious life. We shouldn’t have to timetable fun in – but if it works, it works!”

The survey also showed that:

  • Over half of people didn’t feel they made the most of their time outside of work, with 57.6 per cent of public service workers stating as such compared to 54.8 per cent of private sector workers.
  • Spending time with family was the activity which made the largest percentage of the general public happiest, with 66 per cent stating as such.
  • Across the board, men were more likely than women to socialise with colleagues outside of work, meeting 4.4 times a month compared to 2.3 times.
  • Those in the private sector were more likely to socialise than those in the public sector, meeting 3.6 times compared to 3 times each month.
  • People in the public sector are less happy than counterparts in the private sector – with 15 per cent overall saying they are unhappy at work compared to 13 per cent.
  • However public-sector employees laugh more at work – 6.2 times a day compared to 5.5 in the private sector.

Public sector: The sociability of UK’s public sector professions

(Average monthly meet ups with colleagues out of work per month)

  • Nurse                                      3.4
  • Doctor                                     2.6
  • Police man/ women                2.6
  • Social worker                          2.2
  • Teacher                                   1.9       

The sociability of UK’s professions

(Average monthly meet ups with colleagues out of work per month)

  • Sports and leisure                   0.2
  • Property developer                 0.9
  • Taxi/Lorry Driver                     1.8
  • Teacher                                   1.9
  • Customer service/call centre  1.9

The UK’s most social professions 

(Average monthly meet ups with colleagues out of work per month)

  1. Farmer 12
  2. Estate/letting agent 4
  3. Electrician 6
  4. Builder 3
  5. Advertising/media 8

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