One in three Canadians feel work is dominating their life, a new poll shows.
The 2009 Everest College Labour Day Poll conducted by Harris/Decima found that 34 per cent of Canadians feel work is dominating their lives, with a similar number saying they are expected to work longer hours for the same or less pay. One in four Canadians also said they are working more than one job to make ends meet.
Don Thibert, director of academic affairs for Everest College, says the poll shows Canadians are being squeezed in their working lives in an effort to weather the economic downtown.
“There are people out there that are holding down multiple jobs and putting in a lot of extra hours. And whereas a year ago four people would have been doing a single job, now you might have only two or three people doing that same workload,” Thibert said.
In last year’s poll only 12 per cent of respondents agreed that work was dominating their lives meaning almost twice as many people are feeling weighed down by their workload this year, likely due to the economic downturn.
Interestingly, of the 34 per cent who are struggling the most, only 11 per cent said they had ever faked an illness to get out of work, something Thibert says shows the busiest Canadians are often indeed the hardest workers.
“These people that find themselves in that 34 per cent, they have a great work ethic. They are amazing people and there are a lot of employers out there who want to hire people like them,” he said.
The poll also found that the people most likely to feel swamped by their work schedules were people with a Grade 12 education or less. Thibert suggests that for people who are working harder than they feel they’re getting credit or financial reward for, it might be time to consider retraining or upgrading their skills for a better career.
“I encourage people to be career-focused. That offers a greater work-life balance because people see themselves moving along within an organization, taking on more responsibilities and growing. Look at a career that’s going to allow you to grow,” he said.
If you’re feeling torn asunder by work obligations, Thibert suggests making sure to still prepare some important downtime so that you don’t burn out.
“We can’t just wait till the end of the week to see if we have time to do things we enjoy — set aside that time in advance,” Thibert said.