What it could mean for Canadian companies?
It has been over a year now since a large number of Canadian knowledge workers – workers whose jobs involve handling or using information – started working from home. For some of us, it has been a dream come true – we have been able to wake up a little later, save an hour or more per day commuting to the office, and spend more time with family. Others however, miss the daily banter with their colleagues and the sense of a normal routine.
Overall, a lot of Canadian teleworkers workers seem to prefer a hybrid workspace, meaning the ability to work from home some days, and go into the office on others. Based on Stats Canada, eighty percent of current teleworkers indicated that they would like to work at least half of their hours from home once the pandemic is over.
Canadian companies are embracing the future of the hybrid working schedule and giving employees a choice in whether they have to return to the office. Deloitte Canada has already announced that they will give their staff total flexibility over where they want to work post-pandemic, and many companies are following suit. What will the hybrid workplace mean for Canadian companies?
The ability to source more diverse talent
Companies that give employees the flexibility from working from anywhere they’d like – office or home – will have the benefit of being able to recruit and hire the right talent from different cities or provinces in Canada, or diversify even further by recruiting globally. The benefits of expanding your talent pool outside of your city can include cost savings, hiring faster and diversification.
Less office space
Many companies will find that they will be able to fit their staff in half of the space they once used. Companies may start to lease out their office space, which will provide them with more capital to inject into other projects.
These companies may move away from traditional assigned offices and workspaces and focus on collaboration rooms where employees can come and go when they need to work from the office. Telus has announced that they will be incorporating a mix of coworking spaces, collaboration rooms and wellness stations as they give employees freedom to choose where they can work from.
A focus on Cybersecurity
Companies will need to focus on privacy and cybersecurity now more than ever. With the majority of employees working remotely, legal and private documents that normally would have been handled in person are being scanned and signed virtually. With the rise of DocuSign and similar software, paper copies have become a thing of the past in many organizations.
With a permanent shift towards remote work there exists a concern for how data is being accessed and stored. Companies may need to invest more in Cybersecurity infrastructure to ensure they remain privacy compliant for their clients, protect their employees and prevent data leaks.
The pandemic shifted our perception of what an office job should look that. One thing is certain; and it’s that remote work is here to stay for the majority of Canadian companies. Companies need to adapt and remain flexible to remain competitive and viable as they navigate through the new normal.
By: Joanna Ambros, MBA