Cleaning the house or apartment has long been seen as an exclusively female task. Even if, over time, and with the evolution of society, this idea has changed, it remains a reality for many families. Quebec is no exception and the time spent by women in the household remains high and higher than that of men.
A TREND THAT IS SLOWLY CHANGING
According to the latest studies from the ISQ (Institut de la statistique du Québec), women devote 3.7 hours a day to domestic activities! It remains an important part of the day. These activities include cooking, laundry and also cleaning which represents a good proportion. This number of hours remains considerably higher than that of men who devote 2.5 hours per day to domestic activities. For men, this includes cooking, maintenance and repair activities, and a small share of housework. Even if this gap has halved in 20 years, it is clear that certain tasks are still the prerogative of women.
BUT WOMEN ARE WORKING MORE AND MORE
The big change of the last 50 years is above all the employment rate of women. 4 times more women have a job today compared to the 1950s in Quebec. They are therefore much more occupied during the day and at the same time have retained a large domestic activity with household and maintenance tasks which remain predominant. This explains why many of them today have the feeling that the days are too short!
THE EMERGENCE OF THE RESIDENTIAL HOUSEHOLD MARKET
Reading these figures and this development, it is easy to understand why residential cleaning companies have started to emerge gradually. 50 years ago, this type of service did not exist in Quebec or elsewhere. It was in fact reserved for the better-off classes who employed servants for all daily tasks (cleaning, cooking, laundry, maintenance, guarding, etc.).
With the advent of a service company, all of these tasks have been the subject of offers from specialized companies. In particular, the residential household has developed more and more throughout the world and in particular in Quebec.
THE GROWTH OF HOME HOUSEHOLDS
The residential cleaning market has more than doubled over the past 20 years. And at the same time it has become strongly democratized. The growth in household income has made it easier to absorb this expense. Above all, competition and the development of the techniques and organization of these services have made it possible to cut costs markedly.
HOME CLEANING: A REASONED CHOICE OF QUALITY OF LIFE
At the start of the outbreak of home cleaning services, only wealthy families used this type of service. It was essentially the purchasing power capacity that dictated the need to use staff to do house cleaning. Today the situation has changed. Household consumption studies show that this choice is essentially made today for other reasons. There are actually two key factors.
The first is the lack of time. When in a couple, husband and wife have busy jobs and children to look after, it is not always easy to make enough time to take care of the household at home. It is therefore very often a concern for the agenda that pushes families to choose to use a residential cleaning service.
The second important argument is the quality of life. It is strongly linked to the first but adds another notion. Many women wish to free themselves from household chores to better devote themselves to their children, their marriage, or various leisure activities. The current active generations are clearly choosing a preserved quality of life. The drop in the costs of home cleaning services makes it possible to make these life choices more balanced, more rewarding and more focused on their loved ones.
Concern for the quality of the service is also a fairly decisive factor. Many families choose to have residential housekeeping service to ensure they have a spotless home or apartment at all times. The use of professionals is often the guarantee of a constant service in terms of quality and level of service.
The techniques used also play a determining role. For example, Le Chiffon Vert only offers services made with ecological products. The emergence of preventive health and environmental concerns means that many families are keen to use this type of service, rather than buying chemicals in supermarkets.
The household landscape in Quebec families has changed a lot over the decades. But the cleanliness of the residence remains an important concern and ranks among the important factors of well-being at home: what makes this profession, a profession of requirement and quality service.