One in Three Canadians are Dissatisfied with their Work-Life Balance, poll shows


OTTAWA, September 2, 2016—Labour Day marks the end of summer holidays and a return to school and work. It's a busy time and new poll results show that Canadians feel this. In a recent Nanos Research poll about one in three (30%) of working Canadians said they are dissatisfied with their work-life balance.

Eighty-five percent of respondents said a satisfactory work-life balance is very important to them. That said, only 21% of survey respondents believe that we as a society do a very good job of promoting good work-life balance.

Canadians cited an array of challenges in finding the right work-life balance:

  • Work pressure to do longer hours and bring more work home (22%)
  • Financial insecurity (19%)
  • Not enough time with family (16%)
  • Commute and travel time to and from work (5%)
  • Health issues (4%)
  • Want to work more (2%)
  • Cannot find good childcare (1%)

It's worth noting that 13% of Canadians had no challenges, and 70 percent of Canadians are satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their work-life balance.

Solutions are hard to come by. Canadians cited a desire to work less and earn more. About 18% of respondents suggested shorter workdays, more time off or flexible hours. About 12% indicated that lower income tax and lower taxes in general would be helpful. And one in ten respondents suggested an increase in wages or an increase in the mandatory minimum wage. Only a small percentage (5%) thought the expansion of parental leave or more flexible parental leave would help.

"When we ask about work-life balance, Canadians are obviously feeling a tension between work and home life," says Cardus Senior Researcher Peter Jon Mitchell. "While hard to get at in a poll, there are deeper questions here about how we view work and our vocations as citizens, mothers, fathers and community members. As a result, solutions are also difficult to come by, but worth discussing on the part of private citizens and government."

This release is the fifth of five releases as part of the Canada Family Life Project.

For the full release, click here.


Cardus Family aims to create a larger body of Canadian family research to show the importance of family to building civil society. We aim to bring existing experienced and reliable academic and think-tank voices together in a healthy discussion. And finally, Cardus Family aims to help create a renewed and informed interest in the strength of the Canadian family for our communities and country amongst decision makers, media and the general public.


Cardus is a non-partisan think tank dedicated to clarifying and strengthening, through research and dialogue, the ways in which society's institutions can work together for the common good.

Topics: Labour, Health, Work