Work-life balance off kilter for most B.C. workers: Poll

Insights West survey finds family time suffers as office invades personal lives

Mario Canseco is vice-president of public affairs at Insights West

More than half of B.C. residents admit their work-life balance is out of whack, according to a new poll by Insights West.

The online survey found 55 per cent of B.C. respondents said work definitely or probably takes precedence over their lifestyle, while just 31 per cent called their work-lifestyle balance “perfect.”

“The survey clearly shows that the era of the 9-to-5 job is unquestionably over,” Insights West vice-president Mario Canseco said.

More than two thirds of those polled reported having to stay late at work in the last six months and 42 per cent said they had to work from home at night.

Around 40 per cent also said they’ve had to miss another engagement due to work, work from home on a weekend, take a work-related call on the cellphone while with family or friends, or reply to an email.

Only 15 per cent of employed B.C. residents did not endure any of those problems in the last six months, the poll found.

“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,” Canseco said.

He said 42 per cent of B.C. employees say their work strains their relations with family and friends and 53 per cent say it’s harder to achieve work-life balance than it was for their parents.

Family time topped the list of things that are pushed aside for work, at 32 per cent, followed by health (25 per cent), leisure (19 per cent), pleasure (17 per cent) and spirituality (six per cent.)

The poll found younger Generation Y workers are most likely to report work taking precedence over lifestyle and staying late at work compared to their older counterparts.

Generation X workers weren’t staying late as much, Canseco noted, but were more likely to be on call from home on nights and weekends, and reporting worse relationship strain.

Baby Boomers were least likely to work longer or away from the office, but 49 per cent still reported work-life imbalance.

The online survey of 541 B.C. adult workers was conducted Feb. 3 to 5 and is considered accurate to 4.2 percent 19 times out of 20.

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