Canadians continue to struggle with work-life balance: report
Canadians continue to struggle with the growing demands of their jobs while juggling the stress of caring for their families, according to a new Carleton University study.
But employers aren't helping much, leaving more Canadians stressed and feeling tied to their job even while off the clock.
The study looked at 25,000 Canadians employed full time in various professions between June 2011 and June 2012.
Most survey respondents were parents, earning $60,000 a year or more, who spend over 50 hours a week doing work-related activities, both at the office and ar home.
The big issue, according to Linda Duxbury, the study's author, is that companies are now less likely to offer flexible working hours to help employees cope. This leads directly to higher employee absenteeism and lower productivity, she maintain.
There are a lot of things that employers can do to help minimize the stress of workers, she says, including offering more flexibility in terms of when or where people do their work.
"The use of alternative work arrangements such as flex-time has actually declined since 2001, while hours of work have increased," she says.
The trouble is, work-life balance is too important to be left in the hands of your employer, says Nigel Marsh, author of "Fat, Forty and Fired" and "Overworked and Underlaid."
In this clever TED talk, Marsh lays out an ideal day balanced between family time, personal time and productivity -- and offers some stirring encouragement to make it happen.
There are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives
of quiet, screaming desperation, where they work long, hard hours at
jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don’t need to impress
people they don’t like.
Don't be one of them, he suggests.
How's the balance in your life? Do you things have been getting worse over the past few years? Or have you been able to manage things effectively?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money
Posted by: Laszlo | Nov 7, 2021 12:59:49 PM
Too bad or I should say sad, but I am one of the school case victims of this Work-Life balance problem. At my previous employer I have been forced into working up to 12-14 hours a day; followed by trying to cope with hundreds of emails during the off hours. Of coarse, paid for 40 hours and no bonuses. Every day I was made to "feel guilty" for not compleeteng something from my previous day or days while participated in meetings with high management.
Result after a 1 1/2 years....... I got fired with no particular cause.... The words of my boss: "The direction of the company is well defined and we feel that you are not part of the future plans (of the company)". I am sure will never know the real reasons.....
Think twice before you stay with a company that does not respect your private life, no matter how much you need the job. There are companies out there who still respect employees.
Posted by: Darryl | Nov 7, 2021 4:29:01 PM
Corporate Canada needs a kick in the...."pants". Too many companies have "24 hr service" or "24 hr on call" or "unconventional hours". I spent last winter turning down job after job looking for the true "family based business" after I was told to "sleep when I tell you to". Now, I am still turning down job after job but because then can't beat the Mon-Fri hours or the pay rate. The best part is that I can now join my wife and kids on holidays, vacations, and extracurricular activities. It was hard to go 6 months unemployed but I think it was cheeper than paying some other guy to look after my wife and raise my kids.
Posted by: Jonathan | Nov 7, 2021 8:26:40 PM
I work for one of the largest oil companies in the world. They employ several hundred throusand people globally. I work out of my home, in a remote secluded country estate, which is quite a change from the timeclock punching we did 25 years ago. My work load is astronomical, as I provide support to many refineries across the globe 24/7. The internet has made this possible. I have never met my boss, who works in a different part of the world from me. He is just a voice on my office communicator. The fact that I can work out of my home and set my own hours has made it possible for me to achieve a work-life balance. I am always available in a crisis, and I mean ALWAYS, but I can take time off when I need to. My work gets done and always on time, so everyone is happy.
Posted by: anna | Nov 7, 2021 11:54:24 PM
An empoyer provides a pay check and an outline of the job description when you submit your resume: one has the choice to accept or decline.
Work-balance is not the employer's responsibility - that's ours.
Both do it for money; be grateful i) you're employed
ii) replace your environment; we create our own anxiety - 2 tvs maybe just one
WE need a kick in the ass, NOT our employer.
Accountabality is richer than any pay cheque.
Posted by: WEstern Guy | Nov 8, 2021 12:46:37 PM
Flexiblity is very important in a job.
Personally up until last year I worked 50-60 hours a week, was not paid overtime or a bonus, and had what I would consider a reasonably stressful job that revolved around deadlines that did not necessarily correspond to the work required. My family undertstood but I always felt I was letting them down by not being there.
But I changed jobs and life has gotten much better. 5 weeks vacation,40 hour weeks unless I want more, flexible start / stop times, overtime, and some very nice perks. The kicker was the 20% raise that came with it.
If you aren't happy where you are than keep looking around, stuff does come up from time to time.
Posted by: Colour of money | Nov 8, 2021 1:51:43 PM
The inverse problem exists too. I work in a flex time job that allows you to bank extra hours worked. It's a friendly relaxed environment with soft deadlines and no work from home. The pay is average, but I don't need more. I have loads of time to spend with my family and other athletic and academic pursuits. The job is 5km from my house as well.
Still, the work culture is a lax one. We are a medium-sized global company that's been around for 35 years and is doing well enough. No one here seems devoted to their job, as the job doesn't ask for devotion. Most people just punch in and punch out and pass the day pleasantly. I don't work in a cushy unionized manufacturing job either. I work in the cut-throat tech industry in a job that requires a degree.
What's the problem? The company doesn't foster a sense of drive in anyone, and so most people here don't have any professional drive. Professional drive, I've heard, engenders a wonderful and meaningful feeling of accomplishment and purpose.
I think I would trade a work-life balance for a meaningful work life.