Corporate social responsibility is a phrase increasingly bandied around by companies seeking to demonstrate that they are not simply out to make a fast buck but are also concerned about what goes on in the world around them.
As with many cosy-sounding phrases, I am not entirely sure what the definition of corporate social responsibility is, but I take it to mean what a company does for society, such as running the business in an environmentally friendly way, raising money for charity or involving employees in local community-based 'good works'.
All very altruistic on the face of it, but I would contend that many companies claiming to embrace this ethos have overlooked the adage "charity begins at home".
How ironic that industry these days is likely to be more bothered about sending shredded paper for recycling than the long hours it expects its staff to work.
I believe "corporate social responsibility" should mean ensuring that a company's employees have a work-life balance, something I know is simply not happening for far too many people.
Britain's work culture has become so driven by an obsession to achieve and make yet more money that people's lives have been hijacked by employers. The office, rather than the home, is the centre of their existence and, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, they are never free from the long arm of the boss.
As a divorce lawyer, I come across plenty of cases where a marriage has broken down because of the long hours worked by one spouse (usually the husband) and the intrusion of the office into the home.
I'm aware there are a lot of young people, in particularly those who work in the City and have to catch the financial markets at both ends of the day, who regularly put in 14-plus hours without a break. When they eventually leave work, there's just about enough time sink a few glasses of wine in a bar before falling into bed, only to be up again before the dawn chorus starts.
I have heard of companies where staff are so afraid of being caught "slacking" that when they finally leave their desks late in the evening, they drape jackets over the back of their chairs so it seems as if they've only nipped out for a coffee.
Many companies expect their key personnel to "clock in" every day, even when on holiday abroad.
This isn't work - this is akin to forced labour. No wonder the country's domestic life is fractured.
Even companies who don't work their staff into the ground are often guilty of expecting too much from them: an employee leaves and, to cut costs, isn't replaced, so the existing staff members are expected to take on the extra work.
The so-called "glass ceiling" that supposedly prevents women from reaching top jobs is something of a smoke screen: it is not discrimination that keeps mothers out of the boardroom; it's the women themselves. They are simply not prepared to pursue their careers to the zenith because of the hours that will be demanded of them if they do so.