Working harder

Nowadays Canadians generally are working harder and for longer hours than at any time in recent memory. According to a report written by Armine Yalnizyan for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, an independent research institute in Toronto, Canadians are working for many more hours than was the situation just a few decades ago. Underscoring that point, an article in The Guelph Mercury stated that, "There’s a perfect storm brewing and it’s headed straight for Canadian families," (because of the lengthy working days).
Not long ago, Statistics Canada released a lengthy study prepared by Martin Turcotte. It reviewed the time spent with the family, revealing that, "The average Canadian worker spends 45 minutes less time with family than he or she did 20 years ago. The average length of the workday has increased during the same 20-year period, which is the primary reason that time with the family has decreased."
That report asserted that most Canadians want a better balance between work and the other aspects of their lives. That is more important to them than financial rewards or other aspects of work, such as power or responsibilities. Dr. John Beaton, an assistant professor at the University of Guelph, contended that we are working harder than ever, reducing the time for family, or even time alone, triggering a great deal of stress.
According to anecdotal evidence, in the Ontario public service, 12-hour working days are commonplace, and at certain busy times, no one leaves the office before 10:30 in the evening.
Despite all that, the income gap between the haves and have-nots is the highest in more than a generation, and that spread has widened significantly in the past decade. It appears that the top portion of Canadian families increased its share of total earnings by approximately 6 per cent in the last 10 years, whereas the rest of the population typically made little headway. Working harder apparently did not entail widespread economic progress.
It is all but forgotten that when we work, we use energy. After "warming up," the worker reaches a high level of performance, which continues for some time. Then, efficiency begins to fall off, and with longer hours, the worker is less able to produce productively. Motivation must be unusually strong to counteract that.
When questioned, a worker tied to very long hours often replies that it is essential that the working day be long. Otherwise, one cannot get ahead. Clearly, that shows that some organizations are understaffed: employers must learn to permit a better work-life balance. Business management must adapt to that.
For long-time effectiveness and for a contented workforce, there simply must be sound working conditions.

Bruce Whitestone