The value of a work-life balance, be it to attract talent or to promote employees’ well being, has made teleworking a major trend and it only seems to be growing!
Less than 10% of Quebec workers work remotely. However, that is changing. According to a recent survey by Accountemps Canada, the agency specializing in temporary work, 11% of the Canadian CFOs surveyed said that telecommuting opportunities have increased over the past three years. For 34% of respondents, the main advantages are the retention of the workforce and an improved morale by promoting work-life balance. Then follows the ability to access a larger pool of talent without geographic or time restrictions, a determining factor for 14% of respondents.
An increase in employee productivity through reduced travel time and money saved by cutting the size of workspaces only motivates 8% of those surveyed and 7% of executive respondents.
Another survey, this one conducted last year for BMO, estimated at 56% the portion of Canadian companies offering the possibility of working from home. An opportunity that has been the source of productivity improvement for 70% of respondents, of better morale (77%) as well as an increase in the quality of work (69%).
These figures only confirm that remote work is here to stay. In June, the annual Staples-Bureau En Gros survey found that 71% of teleworkers find it to be a significant benefit when considering changing jobs. One out of every 10 teleworkers is even willing to accept a pay cut in order to continue working from home.
According to the same study, employers who allow telecommuting are also seeing the benefits. For 69% of them, employees are happier when they do not have to come to the office. A third have reported lower absenteeism rates when telecommuting is practiced.
Requested by the young
Another reason why telecommuting is set to take over even further is the growing number of Generation Y – and soon Generation Z – members entering the workforce. For a cohort already used to communicating through screens and requesting increased flexibility of working conditions, being mobile is simply part of their lifestyle.
However, the younger generations are fond of direct human contact. According to The Future of Work, a study published in February by Deloitte, 50% of Gen Y workers never actually telecommute, a figure that is similar in other generations of employees.
There will probably be a development of a-la-carte telecommuting. Part-time remote work or for a few weeks or months at a time will be more suitable to the needs of the majority of employees than sending everyone home to work. Another option: creating a shared office space where several companies co-exist. Thus, employees can work closer to home while maintaining a social work life conducive to the working environment.