On-Line Surveys: Survey Results

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How Would You Rate Your Working Conditions?

Here is What Our Respondents Had to Say

We invited visitors to the JobQuality.ca website to tell us how they rate their working conditions based on six identical questions from a study on international comparisons of job quality (see: International Comparisons of Job Quality Indicators).

Below we present the results from this survey comparing how jobquality survey respondents compared to workers from 17 countries on these six items. It should be noted that this survey is not truly random and therefore is not representative of Canadian employees as a whole. These findings represent a snapshot of how some visitors to the site view their working conditions. In all, 607 visitors took time to complete the survey. Only the data for paid employees (full and part-time) and self-employed workers were used in this analysis, resulting in a final sample size of 590.

 

Employer Sponsored Training

 

A majority of jobquality visitors (63 percent) indicate that they have received employer sponsored training in the past 12 months (paid employees only). As, seen in the chart below, this was higher than the results reported by workers in all 17 countries from the international job quality study. This was also much higher than the number of Canadian workers who report receiving employer sponsored training (51 percent). These results are encouraging and suggest that many survey respondents are able to up-date their skills through employer sponsored training.

Source: Data for Europe from the Third European Study on Working Conditions 2000 (ESWC). Data for Canada and the U.S. from Ekos Rethinking North American Integration Survey (ERNAIS), 2002.

The higher incidence of employer sponsored training by respondents is likely explained by the high education levels reported by our visitors. Almost 66 percent of visitors reported that they have at least a bachelor’s degree, suggesting a highly educated group of survey respondents. Research has often found that well educated employees are more likely to receive employer sponsored training and the survey results appear to support that.

 

Skills Match

 

Although a majority of jobquality visitors (61%) indicate that their skills match the demands of their current jobs, this was much lower than the results reported by workers in the international job quality study (17 country average of 86 percent) (see chart below). Even more striking are the results on feelings of overqualification by jobquality visitors. Twenty-seven percent of respondents feel that the demands of the job are too low for their qualifications. This compares to the 17 country average of only 6% and the 11% of Canadian workers who feel they are overqualified for their jobs. This suggests that jobquality visitors feel an unusual mismatch between their skill levels and the demands of their jobs. This sense of overqualification might have negative implications for job satisfaction.

The high levels of jobquality visitors reporting feelings of overqualification are likely explained by the high levels of education reported by visitors. Higher levels of education are associated with greater feelings of overqualification for our visitors. These findings are consistent with other research and underscore the important fact that many well-educated respondents feel their education and experience exceed the demands of their job.

 
Source: Source: Data for Europe from the Third European Study on Working Conditions 2000 (ESWC). Data for Canada and the U.S. from Ekos Rethinking North American Integration Survey (ERNAIS), 2002.
 

Work-Life Balance

 

Close to one third (29 percent) of the survey respondents indicate that they feel their work hours fit in “very well” with family or social commitments (see chart below). This is lower than the 17 country average of 38 percent and much lower than the Canadian average of 45 percent. It seems our jobquality visitors are less satisfied than workers in most countries, including their fellow Canadian workers (from the international job quality study), in their ability to balance work and their personal lives. This finding is consistent with other research that indicates that many Canadian workers experience difficulty in balancing their work and family lives (see: Work-Life Balance).

 
 
Source: Source: Data for Europe from the Third European Study on Working Conditions 2000 (ESWC). Data for Canada and the U.S. from Ekos Rethinking North American Integration Survey (ERNAIS), 2002.
 

Working at a High Speed

As the chart below shows, on average, about 8 percent of the survey respondents report working at a high speed ‘all the time’, this is lower than the 17 country average of 11 percent and just over half the rate reported by other Canadian workers (17 percent). Although a small percentage of jobquality visitors report working at a high speed “all the time”, an additional 18 percent report working at a high speed “almost all the time”. This suggests that the intensity and pace of work is a serious issue for our website visitors. 

 
Source: Source: Data for Europe from the Third European Study on Working Conditions 2000 (ESWC). Data for Canada and the U.S. from Ekos Rethinking North American Integration Survey (ERNAIS), 2002.
 

Health or Safety Risk

Almost one third (31 percent) of the survey respondents feel that their health or safety is at risk from their jobs – almost identical to the results of Canadian workers in the international job quality study. These results suggest that health and safety is clearly an issue for Canadian workers. This is an important finding, since research documents direct and indirect benefits of healthy work environments, including higher job satisfaction, lower absenteeism and turnover, improved job performance, and lower accident rates.

 
Source: Source: Data for Europe from the Third European Study on Working Conditions 2000 (ESWC). Data for Canada and the U.S. from Ekos Rethinking North American Integration Survey (ERNAIS), 2002.
 

Overall Satisfaction with Working Conditions

Only 17 percent of survey respondents say they are “very satisfied” with their overall working conditions - less than half the proportion of Canadian workers in the international job quality study who say the same thing (40 percent). These results should be a cause for concern.

 
Source: Source: Data for Europe from the Third European Study on Working Conditions 2000 (ESWC). Data for Canada and the U.S. from Ekos Rethinking North American Integration Survey (ERNAIS), 2002.

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