Of­fice space crunch driv­ing tele­work

Calgary Herald - - CALGARY BUSINESS - MARIO TONEGUZZI [email protected]

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.