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November 06, 2021

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.

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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



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...