Canadians are working more

More time at the office means less time with family

Canadians are working more and family time is being sacrificed, according to a new Statistics Canada study.

The study, published in Canadian Social Trends, found that on average workers spent 45 minutes less with their family during workdays in 2005 than they did two decades earlier.

Based on a 260-day work year, the average Canadian has lost the equivalent of about five 40-hour work weeks with her family. The study showed women spent 39 minutes less with family in 2005 than in 1986 and men spent 45 minutes less with family.

This decrease in family time correlates with an increase in work hours. On average, Canadians worked 8.9 hours a day in 2005, up from 8.4 hours 20 years earlier.

The longer hours at work were felt at home. Workers who spent between nine and 10 hours at work spent 52 minutes less with their families than those who only worked seven to eight hours.

However, longer work days aren't the only reason people are spending less time with family. The study found that the increased working hours accounted for about 39 per cent of the decline in time spent with family.

According to the study, 24 per cent of the decline in the time spent with family is due to the fact that workers were more likely watch television alone during the day rather than with family.

The study also found that workers tend increasingly to eat alone when not at work. In 2005, 42 per cent of workers had taken at least one meal alone, compared to 28 per cent in 1986.

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