New study finds many Canadian white-collar workers tied to job around the clock

Eighty per cent accept after-hours business calls and 60 per cent check their voice mail after hours.

Twenty-one per cent of Canadian white-collar workers are available and willing to be reached around the clock for business matters, according to a new study by job site Workopolis.

The study involved 1,000 Canadian workers and found that:

•81 per cent accept business calls at home after regular business hours;
•65 per cent check their e-mails after hours;
•59 per cent check their voice mail after hours;
•30 per cent accept faxes at home; and
•29 per cent keep their cellular phone on.

Twenty-one per cent agreed that they had the type of job that requires them to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Increasingly, (because of technology) there is no excuse for not being available, and that adds extra pressure and stress to work life,” said Kim Peters, president of Workopolis.

Almost half of respondents said contact outside of work hours is an imposition, while 53 per cent said it is a required part of work. Twenty-eight per cent agreed with the statement “sometimes my family or friends resent the number of hours I spend working.”

At the same time, some respondents saw benefits. Thirty-two per cent agreed that “being able to stay in contact with the office when I’m not there gives me more freedom.” Thirty-five per cent of respondents said an offer of fewer work hours is an appealing component of a job offer.

“It is important for companies to be clear with prospective employees about expectations of availability,” said Peters. “It can play a significant role in job satisfaction.”

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