Work-Life Balance Remains Elusive for Most British Columbians

PR Image - Work-life balance by Steve Davidson (med)

A sizeable proportion of employees are staying at the workplace longer, and working from home on nights and weekends.

Vancouver, BC — As British Columbia observes its second Family Day in February, many employed residents of the province are finding it difficult to strike the right balance between work and lifestyle, a new Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of employed British Columbians, only 31% describe their balance between work and lifestyle as “perfect.” Conversely, a majority (55%) say work is “definitely” or “probably” taking precedence over lifestyle. Just 13% believe lifestyle is “definitely” or “probably” taking precedence over work.

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Over the past six months, two thirds of employed British Columbians (67%) report having to stay late at work, and around two-in-five have had to work from home at night (42%), miss a “lifestyle” engagement because of work (also 42%), work from home on a weekend (39%), take a call on the cell phone while with family or friends (also 39%), and reply to an e-mail while with family and friends (38%). Only 15% of all BC employees did not endure any of these problems in the past six months.

“The survey clearly shows that the era of the 9-to-5 job is unquestionably over,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs at Insights West. “A very high proportion of employed British Columbians are having a tough time with their work-life balance because they are taking the office home and dealing with supervisors who have higher immediacy and reach expectations.”

Across the province, 42% of employed British Columbians say their work has put a strain on their relationships with family and friends, and a majority (53%) say it is harder for them to achieve a work-life balance than it was for their parents.

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Employed British Columbians were asked to outline what kinds of activities they miss the most due to work. One third (32%) placed time with family at the top of the list of ignored engagements, followed by health (25%), leisure (19%), pleasure (17%) and spirituality (6%).

A Generational Thing

All three generations report being affected by work-life balance difficulties, with 49% of Baby Boomers, 55% of Generation X and 64% of Generation Y saying their job is taking precedence over lifestyle. However, while just 37% of Baby Boomers say their current state of affairs is putting a strain on their relationships, the proportion climbs to 44% for Generation Y and 48% for Generation X.

Generation Y leads the way on staying late at work more often (81% did so in the past six months) and missing lifestyle engagements (51%). Generation X is the leader on working from home at night (50%), answering e-mails (also 50%), answering cell phone calls (48%) and working on weekends (46%).

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“Across BC, Generation Y employees are staying at work to finish projects and tasks more often than their older counterparts,” continues Canseco. “This represents a stark contrast with Generation X, whose members are more likely to be on call at home during nights and weekends, instead of remaining longer at the workplace.”

It is important to note that one-in-four Baby Boomers (26%) did not have to work longer or away from the office in the past six months, compared with only 10% of Generation X and 7% of Generation Y.

The one area where all three generations concur is in looking at their parents as having an easier time handling work and lifestyle (Baby Boomers 54%, Generation X also 54%, Generation Y 49%).

 

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 and has ten full-time and five part-time employees.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from February 3 to February 5, 2014, among 541 employed residents of British Columbia who are aged 18+ and are Your Insights panel members. YourInsights.ca is Insights West’s in-house access panel offering on-demand samples for both clients and research suppliers looking for Western Canadian populations. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age and gender. While statistical margins of error are arguably not applicable to online panels/online studies of this nature, we have assumed that the same margins of error apply as if it were a true unweighted random probability sample with a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty. To view the detailed data tabulations, click here.

For further information, please contact:

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

 

Photograph: Steve Davidson