While 74 per cent of Canadian employees said their optimism about the workplace remains unchanged from before the coronavirus pandemic, the ongoing crisis has affected several aspects of employment including work-life balance, according to a new survey by ADP Inc.

The survey found 46 per cent of respondents have been forced to make a choice, or compromise, between their work and personal life, either in terms of protecting their health or attending to family commitments, while 42 per cent have made, or plan to, make a change to their living arrangements due to the pandemic’s impact on their work.

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While more than a third (34 per cent) of Canadian managers said they allow more flexibility than their company policy dictates, 32 per cent of Canadian women (32 per cent) said their manager allows more flexibility than company rules provide, versus 36 per cent of men.

Canadian employees are also working an average of seven additional hours per week at no extra pay, compared to 4.9 hours a year ago. A third (32 per cent) of employees have taken on additional responsibilities following pandemic-related job losses at their organizations and 18 per cent said they’ve moved to a new role for this reason.

More than half (53 per cent) of Canadian workers reported doing their job differently due to concerns around employment, or financial security, and only 45 per cent received a pay raise or bonus for doing so, with men (52 per cent) more likely than women (37 per cent) to receive an increase.

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And 32 per cent of employees said they’re checking their pay stubs more closely since the pandemic, while only 23 per cent use mobile apps to manage their finances. Just 17 per cent of survey respondents reported difficulty aligning pay schedules with bill due dates, said the report, which noted younger workers are struggling the most.

In addition, while just 18 per cent of Canadians said they would prefer contract work over traditional employment, 29 per cent are more interested in contract work now than before the pandemic.