Canadians Employed Full-Time Struggling with Work-Life Balance

France’s proposal to allow employees to “disconnect” on evenings and weekends is supported by four-in-five Canadians who are working full-time.

Vancouver, BC – A majority of Canadians who are working full time say they had to stay late at work over the past six months, and more than a third report the office “following them” when they are with family or friends, a new nationwide Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of Canadians who are working full-time, 56% say that work is “definitely” or “probably” taking precedence over lifestyle. Men (57%), those aged 18-to-34 (65%), Ontarians (62%) and those in the middle income bracket (68%) are more likely to feel that a work-life balance is currently elusive.

Conversely, 46% of those aged 55 and over and 52% of Atlantic Canadians call their balance between work and lifestyle “perfect.”

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Over the past six months, more than half of Canadians employed full-time (56%) say they had to stay late at work, including 66% of those aged 18-to-34 and 75% of British Columbians. More than a third (35%) say they had to reply to a work email while they were with family or friends, and three-in-ten (29%) say they had to take a call related to work on the cell phone while they were with family or friends.

A third of Canadians employed full-time say they had to work from home at night (33%), had to work from home on a weekend (also 33%) and missed a lifestyle engagement because of work (32%).

Millennials are more likely to report missing a family gathering or leisure activity because of work (43%) than their older counterparts (31% for Generation X, 18% for Baby Boomers).

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Working from home on weekends is happening more often to British Columbians (53%) than to residents of other provinces (33% in Quebec, 30% in Ontario, 28% in Alberta).

“The incidence of work-related activities that happen outside of the usual 9-to-5 structure shifts with age,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs at Insights West. “While 41% of Baby Boomers say they did not face any of these hitches over the past six months, the proportion falls to 21% for Generation X and just 14% for Millennials.”

Two-in-five Canadians employed full-time (42%) say work has put a strain on their relationships with family and friends—a proportion that rises to 55% among Millennials, 52% among Atlantic Canadians and 50% for those in the middle income bracket.

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Only one-in-four Canadians employed full-time (25%) think it is easier to achieve a work-life balance now than the situation their own parents faced, while 41% say things are currently harder.

Women (44%), members of Generation X (48%) and Atlantic Canadians (54%) are more likely to say that achieving a work-life balance is harder today.

The Government of France recently passed a bill that lets companies with more than 50 employees to allow workers “the right to disconnect”. This means setting up specific hours (on evenings and weekends) when staff should not send or answer emails.

Four-in-five employed Canadians (82%) support implementing similar legislation in Canada, including 90% of Quebecers and 85% of those in the highest income bracket.

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from March 20 to March 27, 2017, among a representative sample of 809 Canadian adults who are currently working full-time. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points. View the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West
778-929-0490
mariocanseco@insightswest.com