Workopolis Poll reveals Canadians clock an extra 145 work hours each year
"When I started the business, I hardly went home. I became very driven
about work and about my career." - Calvin Klein
TORONTO, Aug. 28 /CNW/ - Not many of us are working nine to five anymore,
and in fact, Canadians are working almost three hours more each week than our
employers expect. Add that up and we're working an average of 145 extra hours
each year. But do logging long hours qualify as 'hard working'? According to
the Workopolis Hardest Working Canadians Study, the top three factors that
determine hard work are: a high degree of responsibility, a high level of
concentration or mental effort and a heavier than average work load.
Overall, one third (32 per cent) of Canadians surveyed indicated they're
working 'too hard', while six in ten (59 per cent) thought that work levels
were 'just right'. Another nine per cent confessed they're not working 'hard
enough'. Age plays a factor and forty per cent of those aged 50+ say they work
too hard, compared to only 20 per cent of those 16-24. One-quarter
(25 per cent) of Albertans surveyed report working hard all of the time.
"As Canadians continue to work harder and harder, are we in fact working
any better or smarter? Longer hours don't necessarily mean increased
productivity." said Patrick Sullivan, President of Workopolis. "The bottom
line: assess the reasons why you're working hard. Do you have an intrinsic
drive or are there external factors being placed on you?"
Reasons We're Working Hard
- According to the survey, Canadians report they're working hard
- It's expected of them (51 per cent)
- It's just the nature of the job (48 per cent)
- Their work environment is understaffed (41 per cent).
- One-quarter (25 per cent) of respondents said they can't leave work
behind, and another quarter (22 per cent) indicated they work hard
for financial compensation.
- Not surprisingly, Western Canada's labour shortage continues to
impact the workforce. They were most likely to report working hard
due to understaffing.
- Women are more likely than their male counterparts to work hard to
prove themselves (38 versus 31 per cent), while men are more likely
to be doing so in order to get ahead (37 versus 31 per cent) in their
Who Works Harder - You or the Boss?
Six in ten (61 per cent) managers surveyed believe they work harder than
their employees. The reason why? Managers indicated that increased
responsibility is a sign of hard work.
But when employees were asked if their managers work harder, only
one-quarter agreed with the statement. Most Canadian workers think they either
work equally hard (45 per cent) or harder (30 per cent) because they're able
to get more done.
Top Five Hardest Working Professions
According to the Workopolis Hardest Working Canadians Study, Canadians
weighed in and here are the top five hardest working professions:
- Air traffic controllers
But their reasons for landing on this hard working list vary. The survey
revealed that for moms, it's because of their high amount of responsibility,
and non-standard work hours that put them on top. But, stress, mental
concentration, physical effort and even danger were essential factors for the
remaining four professions that rounded out the list.
The Hard Work Effect
As Canadians continue to put in the extra time, according to the survey,
working Canadians are turning to a variety of coping mechanisms to compensate
for hard work:
- Taking a little 'me' time was the most popular, followed by exercise,
vacation days, drinks out and delegating more.
- Fifteen per cent resort to taking a sick day when they're working too
hard, while only slightly more (twenty two per cent) would approach
their boss about it.
- Non-managers were more likely to turn to colleagues for help, while
managers were more inclined to delegate more.
"While it's important to find coping mechanisms to relieve stress and
remove yourself from a difficult situation, the next step is to resolve the
problem is through communication," added Sullivan. "Employees who find that
they are unable to cope with the pressure need to speak up and look to your
manager for advice on how to improve the situation. It may mean that
additional support needs to be hired or that some of your work is delegated to
others, but it is critical to find a solution rather than simply relying on a
Evaluating Your Hard Work
- How much of your day is 'real' work versus 'busy' work? Be careful
not to let meaningless emails or playing phone tag with someone fill
up your day. Put technology to good use to help you to work smarter -
- An understaffed environment isn't a good reason to be overworked,
unless it's just for the short term. Speak with your manager and let
them know how you're feeling.
- You may want to consider meeting with a time management consultant
for tips if you're feeling overwhelmed at work.
Signs You're Working Too Hard
Exhaustion topped the list with three-quarters (72 per cent) of
respondents indicating this was the key indicator of being over-worked.
Stress, lack of balance in life, time away from family and working too many
hours are among the many other symptoms being felt by Canadians.
With Labour Day right around the corner, now is an ideal time to take
stock of your workplace behaviours and reassess your career path. Canadians
can go to <a href="http://www.hardestworking.ca">http://www.hardestworking.ca</a> to find additional information and take
a quiz to see if they are working too hard.
Workopolis is Canada's leading online career-solutions provider with over
3.3 million unique visitors monthly in Canada, the most posted resumes and
twice as many job postings as the nearest competitor.
Workopolis provides a fully bilingual suite of industry-leading products
and services including:
- Powerful Resume Database search functions and intuitive screening
tools to help connect employers with the "best fit" candidates -
contributing to a 71 per cent hiring success rate for customers.
- An inside look at niche industries with access to over 100
professional and trade associations.
- Career alerts, resume rescue and an online salary calculator to help
job seekers find the right job.
Headquartered in Toronto, Workopolis has offices in eight Canadian
cities. Workopolis is a partnership of Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. and Gesca
Ltd., the newspaper publishing subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada.
Workopolis is the exclusive Official Supplier of Online Recruitment
Services for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
The Workopolis Hardest Working Canadians Study was undertaken by
Environics Research Group and involved 4,107 Canadians from June 12 to July
23, 2008. As in many surveys conducted, a probability sample was not
interviewed, but rather visitors to the Workopolis site were able to "opt in"
to the sample. As such, the statistical theories used to calculate margin of
sampling error do not apply and a margin should not be quoted.
For further information:
For further information: or to schedule an interview, please contact
Meredith Adolph or Sheryl So, Environics Communications, (416) 969-2667 or