There are more than four million Canadians who do shift work and many of them are more dissatisfied with their work-life balance compared to those who work a regular nine-to-five type shift, according to a report.

The Statistics Canada report, Work-life balance of shift workers, finds that 29% of shift workers are not satisfied with their work-life balance. That compares to 23% of regular day workers who are not satisfied.

In general, work-life balance can be difficult to achieve for full-time workers despite their schedule. But when schedules are regular or workers have some control over their shifts, it’s easier to reduce family and work conflicts.

“Not surprisingly then, satisfaction with work-life balance varies somewhat by type of shift,” says the report. “Indeed, day workers were the most likely to be satisfied with their work-life balance, followed by regular evening workers—their schedules are regular evening workers—their schedules are regular and they can plan activities around work.”

Interestingly, 73% of rotating shift workers—whose schedules change throughout the month—were satisfied with their work-life balance.

The least satisfied were those with split or irregular shifts (65%), on call or casual (62%), or with other shifts (63%)—those with the least amount of control of their work schedules.

For families with children where both spouses work full time, finding balance may be a challenge, especially when it comes to shift work.

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About 75% of full-time day workers whose spouse also worked full time were satisfied with their work-life balance. When their spouse worked part time or was not in the labour force, about 77% were satisfied.

“Conversely, full-time shift workers were more likely to be satisfied with their work-life balance when their spouse worked full time (71%) than when their spouse worked part time or was not in the labour force,” according to the report. “Indeed, satisfaction with work-life balance decreased to 57% for full-time shift workers when their spouse worked part time and was 68% when their spouse was not in the labour force.”

Satisfaction with work-life balance and being able to avoid role overload—too much to do and not enough time to do it—are also related to demographics. And age seems to play a role.

For example, people aged 35 to 54 had lower odds than those aged 55 to 64 of being satisfied with their work-life balance or having role overload. This could be because younger people are in their prime working years and more concerned with developing careers while older individuals are more established at home and at work.

There is also a difference in satisfaction between genders. For women, having a spouse and children or being a lone parent was associated with lower odds of being satisfied with work-life balance or avoiding role overload. On the other hand, family type was significant only in the role overload model for men.

Industry and occupation also play a part in the differences between men and women. While industry had no effect for women on either measure, this was not the case for men. For men, manufacturing, trade, and transportation and warehousing were associated with a lower likelihood of being satisfied with their work-life balance; manufacturing, and education and health, were associated with being less likely to avoid role overload.

Conversely, high general life stress, working 46 hours or more per week, or being a workaholic all lowered the odds of being satisfied with work-life balance and avoiding role overload, the report says.

“This, in short, suggests that satisfaction with work-life balance and role overload are related not only to workers’ schedules but also to a complex interaction of hours worked, self-perception and general feelings of well-being.”

To read the report on Statistics Canada’s website, click here.

To comment on this story, email craig.sebastiano@rci.rogers.com.

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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