Job Quality Indicators » Work-Life Balance by Region

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Family Outcomes

What impact does work have on key family outcomes for Canadian workers? In their study, Duxbury and Higgins explore a number of outcomes in examining how work is affecting families, including: family adaptation, family life satisfaction, and parental life satisfaction, to name a few. Visitors are encouraged to see the full report - Where to Work in Canada? An Examination of Regional Differences in Work Life Practices by Linda Duxbury and Chris Higgins (2003) - for more information on these issues.

Duxbury and Higgins also asked their study respondents the following questions:

  • Have you had fewer children because of the demands of work?
  • Have you not started a family because of the demands of work?

In this section, we focus on results from these two questions and examine any regional differences in the responses of professionals.

Approximately one in five (21 percent) professional employees in Canada choose to limit the size of their families in trying to balance the demands of work and family (see the chart below). This strategy appears to be consistent among professional employees across Canada with little regional variation on this issue.

 

One in Five Canadian Professional Employees Cope
With Work-Life Conflict by Having Fewer Children

Source: Where to Work in Canada? An Examination of Regional Differences in Work Life Practices. Duxbury and Higgins (2003).

 

Not only are a large number of professional employees having fewer children because of the demands of work and family, many are also delaying having children because of the demands of their jobs. Over a quarter (28 percent) of professional employees in Canada say they have delayed starting a family because of the demands of their jobs (see the chart below).

 
Source: Where to Work in Canada? An Examination of Regional Differences in Work Life Practices. Duxbury and Higgins (2003).
 

The fact that a large percentage of professional employees are likely to delay starting a family is consistent with indicators on Organizational Culture (found in the Work Environment theme) showing professional employees believe their workplace culture rewards long hours and taking leave from work for family reasons will hurt their career advancement.

There is some regional variation on this issue. Professional employees in B.C. are more likely to delay having a family because of work (33 percent) while those in Quebec are least likely (21 percent). Again, these results are consistent with indicators on Organizational Culture, where employees in B.C. are most likely to believe family leave will limit their career advancement (37 percent) - versus only 27 percent in Quebec. Professional employees in Quebec also indicate they are more comfortable in using work-life balance supports offered by their organization and are more likely to agree that there are open and respectful discussions on work-life balance at their workplace.

Additional Charts and Information