If you are seeing your subbies more than your children, then you are probably working too hard. In an effort to redress the work-life balance the DTI is offering free advice to construction companies to make working life more bearable.
Some of the most stressed-out workers are in the construction industry. Inflexible hours and looming deadlines are accepted as the norm in our project-based industry, and few firms take the plight of their frazzled employees seriously.

This was made depressingly clear when it emerged that not one construction company had applied for money from the government's Work-Life Balance Challenge Fund. This is intended to help firms provide their employees with a better work-life balance through measures such as flexible working patterns and childcare.

As a result, the DTI is now targeting construction to raise awareness of its Work-Life Balance Campaign, which offers free advice to interested firms. In a joint initiative with Building, the DTI is launching a readership survey on the subject to find out how what construction companies think of their working practices. The closing date is 15 February and the entry form can be found in this week's issue of the magazine.

By offering employees a better balance between work and home, DTI employment relations minister Alan Johnson says construction companies will increase their employees' job satisfaction, reduce staff turnover and raise productivity.

Imaginative employee benefits and flexible working hours are also key to attracting people to an industry currently suffering from acute staff shortages.

Staid working environments are a turn-off for dynamic young graduates, especially when other industries competing for their talents are offering stylish surroundings and flexible working conditions.