“More than ever before, Canadians play many different roles in their lives. They are workers, parents, spouses, friends, caregivers of elderly relatives and volunteers in their communities. They must also make room in their lives for taking care of their own physical and mental well-being. Not surprisingly, achieving balance among all these competing priorities can be difficult.” Canadian Mental Health Association
Balancing the oftentimes competing priorities of work and everyday life is getting more difficult for workers in Canada. A 2012 National Study on Balancing Work and Caregiving in Canada found two-thirds of workers spent over 50-hours each week on work-related activities. In fact, workers were twice as likely to let work interfere with family life as the reverse.
Finding the right balance between work and life responsibilities is as much about over-work as it is under-work. In a relentless push for reducing labour costs and increasing scheduling flexibility, some workers (particularly those in the low-wage service sector) are denied stable and sufficient work hours. Many are forced into working multiple jobs to make ends meet. In some extreme cases, workers receive no guarantee of work hours and are perpetually “on-call.”
Check out: Canada's work-life balance more off-kilter than ever, by Josh O’Kane, Globe and Mail
Check out: Revisiting Work-Life Issues in Canada: The 2012 National Study on Balancing Work and Caregiving in Canada, by Linda Duxbury and Christopher Higgins (long summary)
Check out: Voices of Canadians: Seeking Work-Life Balance (2003), by Linda Duxbury, Christopher Higgins and Donna Coghill
Check out: A framework and literature review on the economics cost of care (2013), by Keating et al (Centre for Families, Work & Well-Being)
Check out: What are zero-hours contracts? From The Guardian