New study reveals overwhelming support for campaign kick-started by
TORONTO, May 25, 2011 /CNW/ - To mark the one week countdown before
Canada's Unofficial Work From Home Day, Workopolis today reveals the
results of a new survey showing overwhelming support for the campaign
which first got the attention of the Canadian Parliament last November.
Given all the benefits associated with teleworking, nine in ten (88 per
cent) of Canadian workers agree there should be government support for
a nationally recognized day, with over half (52 per cent) strongly
"Work is not a place you go anymore, it's something that you do and
increasingly something for many workers that can be done anytime and
from anywhere," said Gabriel Bouchard, President of Workopolis.
"Technology is changing the very nature of work. Forward-thinking
employers are waking up to this new reality, changing their approach
and seeing the benefits of new smarter working practices, including
remote working, which also reduces transportation costs."
Support from Coast to Coast
In a separate Omnibus study, Quebec and Atlantic Canada were found to be
the most in favour of government support for a National Work From Home
Day (80 and 79 per cent respectively). While the Prairie provinces were
less likely to want government involvement, the majority surveyed still
support the initiative (66 per cent for Manitoba/ Saskatchewan and 65
per cent for Alberta).
To date, over 75,000 Canadians have pledged their support for the
Workopolis campaign on Facebook.
Working From Home Works for Many
The U.K.'s sixth annual WorkWise Week culminated with a National Work
from Home Day on Friday, May 20, 2011 with approximately 5.8 million
people telecommuting on their designated day. Not surprisingly,
Canadian workers were even more vocal in their support for the Canadian
campaign (91 per cent) upon hearing this news.
Four in ten (43 per cent) of Canadian workers said their current
employer encourages working from home.
Telework success stories include Calgary, which just completed its 2nd annual WORKshift Week (April 18-22, 2011); Ottawa which recently announced City Hall would invest $20-million over four
years to introduce a telework program for almost 2,000 of its workers
and the province of Quebec, which has launched a new program that 'certifies' employers that meet
standards for encouraging work-family balance - telework being one of
Workers, Employers and the Community all Benefit
The most commonly perceived personal benefit of working from home for
Canadian workers is cost savings. Greater flexibility, which includes
aspects such as choosing which hours to work, working on their own
terms and reducing stress, was the second most popular benefit for
workers. This was followed closely by the ease of caring for others (a
pet, children, an ill or disabled family member or an elderly parent).
Nearly nine in ten (88 per cent) of those who work from home at least
once per week agree they are more productive. There are many fewer
distractions when working from home.
"Mental health is an important part of our overall health and
well-being," says Peter Coleridge, National CEO, Canadian Mental Health
Association (CMHA). "Poor work-life balance can negatively impact an
individual's mental health. A flexible work environment that recognizes
the need for balance between the demands of work, family and personal
life will have positive impacts on employee mental health. Having a
national Work From Home Day can help spread that message to more
workplaces in Canada."
The argument for working from home extends beyond the worker with the
top benefits for employers being greater access to qualified employees,
increased employee productivity, improved image of the company as a
flexible employer and increased employee retention and potentially even
reduced operating costs for things such as rent and transportation.
Greater access for workers with disabilities/health issues, those
nearing retirement, with family responsibilities and with accessibility
challenges are ranked as top societal benefits, and these will become
increasingly important as the labour market tightens. Environmental
benefits due to less pollution also ranks highly.
"High gas prices, growing concerns for the environment and a desire for
greater work-life balance, are coming together to create the perfect
storm for a remote culture for Canadian workers," said Bouchard. "Smart
employers will have this on their radar. With a looming labour shortage
it is becoming increasingly important for employers to set themselves
apart to attract and retain top talent."
When asked what the likelihood of switching jobs if given the option of
working from home, nearly three of every four (73 per cent) Canadians
said they would seriously consider it. And if presented with two job
opportunities with all other things being equal, 88 per cent said they
would chose the one offering the option to work from home.
Tips for Talking with the Boss:
With secure technology, trust and clear policies in place it's never
been easier for Canadian workers to work remotely. But four in ten (43
per cent) don't know how to raise the topic with their employer. Here
are some tips for getting the conversation started.
Have a game plan - Do your research and find a good time to have a sit-down meeting with
your supervisor. You want to ensure you have their full attention.
Money talks - Studies show that there are many savings that can be realized by
having staff work from home occasionally. Show her/him that this can
have an impact on the company's bottom line.
Know who you're talking to - How you raise the issue is just as important as what you're saying.
As you would for any presentation, make your pitch tailored for the
right person to make a compelling argument.
It's business - Everyone has personal reasons for wanting to work from home (family,
pets, etc), but remember your boss is running a business, so make it a
business case, not personal.
To show support for a National Work From Home Day Canadians are
encouraged to visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/workopolis where they can access sharable infographics with compelling stats such as if one million Canadians worked from home
one day a year, five million KG of CO2 could be saved. That's the
equivalent of planting 10 million trees. There are also tools to
convince your boss and coworkers that it's time for a work from home
day. You can also join the conversation on Twitter by following
@workopolis and using the hashtag #WFHD.
About the Research
The Environics Research Group study results were collected through a
custom, online survey between April 5-13th, 2011. This included a
sample size of 1001 Canadian workers.
The Environics Research National Omnibus Survey was conducted between
April 12-17th, 2011. This included a sample of 1000 Canadians 18 years
and over. The margin of error for a sample of this size is +/- 3.10%,
19 times out of 20.
Workopolis provides Canadian employers and candidates with unrivalled
access to one another by combining unique employer branding tools with
the largest pool of candidate resumes on the Internet. Through the
reach and scope of www.workopolis.com, extended by exclusive partnerships and community sites including
social networking and mobile applications, Workopolis allows employers
to engage with qualified candidates, allowing both parties to best
assess fit online.
Canadian owned and operated, Workopolis has grown to 200 staff members
across Canada since 2000. Workopolis is in an equal partnership with
Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. and Square Victoria Digital Properties
Inc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada.
Workopolis was chosen as the first organization to be given the Best
Emerging Organization distinction as part of Canada's 10 Most Admired
Corporate Cultures program and was a recipient of the 2010 50 Most
Engaged Workplaces award.
For further information:
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