Linda Duxbury

Canada’s Most Accomplished Work-Life Balance Expert


With Canadian corporations losing over $4 billion a year to employee absenteeism, the well-being and satisfaction of employees cannot be overlooked. Dr. Linda Duxbury, Canada’s most accomplished researcher, writer and speaker on work-life balance, has influenced policy and attitudes to help create supportive work environments in both the private and public sectors.


She has influenced government policy-making and significantly advanced the practices and attitudes toward work-life balance, technology, flexible work arrangements, generational differences, the development of supportive managers and work environments in Canada.


Dr. Duxbury has written hundreds of papers, journals, and books, and is the co-author of a series of Health Canada reports about work-life balance in Canada. She has published widely in both academic and practitioner literatures in the area of work-family conflict, change management, supportive work environments, stress, telework, the use and impact of office technology, managing the new workforce and supportive management. Her work shows that work-life strategies benefit the business bottom-line, by gaining a competitive advantage in a marketplace that will become increasingly driven by worker needs and wants.


Currently a Professor at the Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Dr. Duxbury received her M.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering and Ph.D. in Management Sciences from the University of Waterloo.


Dr. Duxbury has been awarded the Toastmasters International Communication and Leadership Award, and was recognized as one of Deloitte’s Women of Influence in 2009. She delivered the Hallman lecture on Work and Health at the University of Waterloo and the Hawke Lecture on work and Health at the University of South Australia in Adelaide, SA. She has also given speeches as part of the distinguished speaker series at the Molson School of Business, Concordia University in Montreal and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.


Always an enlightening and popular speaker, Dr. Duxbury’s ideas and research are highly valued by major corporations and government agencies.

“Technology is taking over, and not necessarily in a helpful way. We have an expectation in organizations that employees will be available 24/7, and will respond 24/7.”


Managing a Changing Workforce

The upcoming century will see a fundamental shift in the nature of the employer-employee relationship as organizations seek to attract and retain good employees in a declining labour market. This labor force shortage will arise as the massive baby boomer generation retires and companies compete to hire the small pool of “baby – bust” employees. Other factors that contribute to these changes include the following: birth rates are declining throughout the world, populations are aging, the age at which people are taking retirement has fallen, people are staying in school longer (or returning to school), and the skill-intensity of employment is increasing.


These demographic changes will have profound impacts on employers as they enter a “sellers” market where there are fewer employees with the necessary skills than there are good job. Human resource management will become a critical success factor in the new millennium, as companies have to focus on recruitment, retention of employees of all ages, succession planning, work-life balance and career development.


We are currently in an unusual position in Canada in that we have four generations in the workforce at the same time: the Veterans (59 +), the Baby Boom (1947 to 1964), the Baby Bust (Generation X) (1961 to 1972) and the Echo Boomers (Nexus) (1972 to 1990). Each of these generations have different attitudes and values with respect to work and life. Managers in organizations today need to understand key generational differences in order to both attract, motivate and retain good employees.


Dr. Duxbury’s talk will address these following issues. She will look at the formative influences shaping the different generations and look at possible sources of generational conflict within the workforce. She will also give employers information on how to adapt to meet the needs of these different groups of employees.


Managing a Changing Workforce: Changing How We Manage

This talk is a follow up for the talk on ‘Managing a Changing Workforce’. It provides a critical analysis and overview of key disconnects that may be contributing to a disengaged workforce and difficulties with respect to recruitment and retention. Issues covered in this talk include work-life balance, reward and recognition, respect, trust, communication, performance management, and talent management/succession planning and offers suggestions on how organizations can make positive changes in each of these areas. The talk ends with a summary of how the different generational cohorts view each of these issues and a number of suggestions on how employers and managers can use the information covered in the talk to adapt to meet the needs of employees today.


Dealing with the Boiled Frogs: It’s all about Workloads

Many employers implement family friendly policies such as flextime and compressed workweeks – but do not get the desired results. This talk focuses on the reason why many of the family friendly practices just do not seem to work – they are implemented into a culture which focuses on hours of work rather than output: where “presenteeism” is equated with productivity. This talk begins with an examination of why employee workloads, especially at the managerial and professional level, have increased over the past several decades. It then presents evidence on why employers should care – the impact of high workloads on the employer’s bottom line. The talk ends with a number of suggestions on how workloads can be decreased – without hiring more staff.

Change Management / Leadership / Peak Performance / Resilience / Workforce/HR

Leadership / Motivators / Women-Speakers / Workforce/HR

Change Management / Leadership / Peak Performance / Teamwork

Entrepreneurship / Leadership / Management Strategy / Motivators / Workforce/HR