Flexible work options increasingly important to Canadians

Almost 28% of people surveyed by IWG would prefer to choose their work location over an increase in vacation time

Flexible work options are becoming much more important to Canadian employees.

A survey by IWG, a flexible workspace provider, showed that 85 per cent of Canadian respondents would choose a job that offered flexible working over a job that didn’t.

Also, 54 per cent said having a choice of work location is more important than working for a prestigious company. And almost 28 per cent would prefer to choose their work location over an increase in vacation time.

IWG said 77 per cent of Canadian respondents believe flexible working has become the new normal. As a result, in the past 10 years, 69 per cent of surveyed Canadian business people say their companies have introduced a flexible workspace policy, it said.

“Flexible work is not just preferred by workers, it’s expected,” said Wayne Berger, CEO of IWG Canada and Latin America, in a statement.

“Having a company that’s nimble enough to change with the times has never been more important. For companies serious about winning the war for talent, offering flexible arrangements is now the norm.”

But 60 per cent of Canadians surveyed say that organizational culture is the main barrier to implementing flexible work, particularly for businesses that have a long-standing, non-flexible working approach.

Also, 45 per cent of Canadian respondents believe businesses fear the idea of embracing flexible working and many believe there’s a lack of understanding about the benefits of flexible working (42 per cent).

“More than ever, employees expect competitive offers, which includes dynamic working arrangements,” said Berger. “Businesses that fail to embrace the cultural and financial benefits of flexible working risk being ignored by top talent and being seen as out of touch by their industry peers. It’s no longer a matter of if or when the workforce will change – it’s already happening.”

Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media business reporter based in Calgary.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

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