Full-time workers less likely to volunteer

Flex schedules, commute time also make a difference: StatsCan

The extent to which Canadians do unpaid volunteer work for organizations is affected by their working arrangements, according to a Statistics Canada study.

In 2010, about one in five full-time workers aged 25 to 54 volunteered five or more hours per month on a regular basis. In comparison, about one-third of part-time workers and nearly one-quarter of those who were unemployed volunteered with the same frequency.

Among full-time workers with flexible work conditions, such as choosing their start and finish times and working at home occasionally, 26 per cent volunteered on a regular basis. But for those with fixed working schedules who did not work at home, the percentage was 18 per cent.

This difference between workers with flexible and fixed work schedules remained after taking into account the influence of education, age group, industry, parenthood as well as other factors, said Statistics Canada.

Commuting time also affected the likelihood of being a regular volunteer. Among full-time workers who took 45 minutes or more to get to work, 15 per cent were regular volunteers. For those whose commute was 30 minutes or less, the rate was 21 per cent.

In contrast, the number of hours worked by full-time workers had no impact on the extent of volunteering. Those who worked 50 hours or more per week were as likely to be regular volunteers as those who worked fewer hours.

Among the self-employed, women (35 per cent) were more likely than men (21 per cent) to volunteer on a regular basis, found Social Participation of Full-Time Workers.

Self-employed women also reported having a greater connection between their employment and their volunteer activities. For example, they were more likely to report their volunteer work had helped them get a job or start a business.

Other factors associated with the likelihood of being a regular volunteer among full-time workers included attending religious services on a weekly basis, holding a university degree or being a parent of school-age children, found the study, which used data from the 2010 General Social Survey on Time Use as all as the Canadian Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, 2010, with 4,495 respondents.

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