TORONTO, June 24 /CNW/ - Toronto-area businesses have been dusting off
their contingency plans to handle the disruptions related to the G20
Summit this week. A key component of the plan for many organizations is
enabling employees to work from home - particularly if the disruptions
will make it difficult for them to get to the office.
"With secure technology, trust and clear policies in place, a working
from home plan will may help to alleviate the challenges many employees
and employers are facing this week," said Peter Harris of Workopolis.
Tips for maximizing productivity when working from home
Establish a schedule. Keep work hours similar to the ones you
would keep if you were working at your office. Your manager and your
co-workers appreciate knowing when you are available.
Keep the lines of communication clear. Provide your manager and
colleagues with the best telephone number to reach you. You may also
consider using call forwarding to your home or cell phone so that you
receive incoming calls wherever you're working.
Limit distractions. Be careful not to replace office-based
interruptions with home-based ones (such as children, neighbors and
Plan ahead. Take the appropriate work home with you and
determine if you will be able to log on to your network remotely. You
may also need to inquire whether confidential material can be taken
off site (in paper or electronic form).
Set up a dedicated workspace. Ensure that your workspace is
well-lit and comfortable and that you have everything you need to be
Maintain a professional attitude. If you have frequent client
interactions, be careful to answer the phone or respond to their
emails in a professional way. Wearing something other than pajamas
will help put you in the right frame of mind and help keep you
Benefits of working from home
Steering clear of security issues and traffic jams aren't the only
reasons to consider working from home if you can. It can significantly
improve productivity, enable businesses to be more competitive and
enhances employee retention by offering them greater options for
Telecommuting also helps the environment by alleviating slow-moving
highway congestion as fewer people have to commute in rush hour traffic.
Approximately 70-80 per cent of Canadians regularly drive to work1
and transportation is responsible for 27 per cent of Canada's GHG
emissions, with passenger vehicles accounting for half of this total.2
For these reasons and more, Workopolis is rallying Canadians to support
a National Work from Home Day to emulate the Work Wise Day which
has been adopted in the U.K. Supporters can visit the Facebook
fan page to add their name to the growing list of signatures for the
online petition. The petition can be found by searching Facebook for
'work from home day'.
"We believe that working from home can be a refreshing change from being
in the office," said Harris. "Instead of water cooler chats, you can
chat with your family and instead of braving a spirit-shattering
commute, you get an extra hour in bed. Many Toronto area residents will
be experiencing the plus-side of working from home this week and
Workopolis would like to extend these benefits from coast to coast with
an official day marked in our collective calendar."
Recently over 20,000 votes were recorded in a Workopolis homepage poll
on the idea, and more than 80 per cent of people voiced their support
for the movement. In a national telephone omnibus survey of 524 working
Canadians conducted by Harris/Decima, over half (fifty three per cent)
were enthusiastic about the concept (conducted between June 17 and June
20, 2010 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percent, 19 times out of
1 cr="true" href="http://www4.hrsdc.gc.ca/.3ndic.1t.4r@-eng.jsp?iid=67#M_4">http://www4.hrsdc.gc.ca/.3ndic.1t.4r@-eng.jsp?iid=67#M_4
2 Environment Canada
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