Office space crunch driving telework
Calgary’s real estate crunch, coupled with corporate expansion has more businesses looking at flexible work schedules, including telework, for their employees.
Robyn Bews, program manager for WORKshiftwith CalgaryEconomic Development, said Wednesday that Calgary is now at a tipping point.
“Organizations are calling me saying, ‘We simply don’t have anywhere to put our employees and we’re interested in understanding how people can work differently.’ That’s really driving the change right now in our environment in Calgary.”
On Wednesday, CED hosted an event on the subject titled Psychology of WORKshift.
Laura Hambley, a co-author of the book Growing the Virtual Workplace, part of a consulting practice called the Leadership Store and an adjunct professor of psychology at the University of Calgary, said the idea of telework is gaining momentum.
“I started doing research on this topic back in 2002, 2003 and it’s taken a long time for the industry to (accept) but I’m seeing it’s reaching its tipping point.
“In the last year or so, I’ve seen a lot more interest, a lot more organizations curious about it or implementing workshift,” she said. A combination of factors are contributing to this, she said, including a younger generation being more integrated into the workforce, the “exorbitant” cost of real estate and the traffic congestion.
Companies need to figure out who will work well in workshifting because it’s not an idea that is for everyone but most people can workshift some of the time, Hambley said.
Data presented at Wednesday’s event showed that people who workshift are up to 40 per cent more productive; 42 per cent of Canadians would switch jobs if they could workshift occasionally; 33 per cent would be willing to take a pay cut; and the average Calgarian spends 63 minutes commuting each day or 245 hours per year.