Monday, April 23, 2007

TGIM (Thank God It's Monday)

Interesting statistics in today's Globe (actually in the new Life section - ooooh!) on work and home life.
The stats come from Statistics Canada, a 2006 Ipsos Reid poll and a 2007 Strategic Council poll.
The average work day is now apparently 8.9 hours, up from 8.4 hours in 1986 (and that's the average, mind you, although my wife probably single-handedly accounts for most of the increase). Whatever happened to the fabled 7-hour day?
In an average year, Canadian workers spend 2,323 hours at work, 2,167 hours sleeping or "attending to personal care", 884 hours with their families (almost an hour a day less than in 1986), 273 hours commuting, and 48 hours on "social activities" (which presumably means actually enjoying themselves).
A quarter of Canadian workers don't take all their vacation days, and and a tenth go without their vacations completely. 31% say they look forwards to the start of each working week. One in five workers (including one in four women) say that work life is less demanding than home life. 27% say they have used work as an excuse to avoid family functions.
I'm sure it's nice that people can be happy in their work, but I think it's more likely a reflection of the quality of their home time, or maybe a vicious circle whereby people are pushed so hard at work that they no longer have the time or energy to enjoy their home time. It seems that many people feel more appreciated at work, and even feel that they have more free time at work than at home, which is all a bit scary to me.
I would assume that equivalent American statistics would be even more depressing than these Canadian ones (as in most things, Canadian values are usually mid-way between the US and Europe).
All I can say is that I'm glad I'm not average.

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