Remote work could be multibillion-dollar boon to economy

Higher business and personal productivity, lower overheads cited

Mario ToneguzziRegus, a leading global workspace provider, says a predicted boom in flexible working could contribute US$369 billion to the Canadian economy – and $10.04 trillion to the global economy – by 2030.

The study said there will be a 59 per cent growth in the number of jobs associated with flexible workspaces by 2030 – which represents 11.7 per cent of all employment in Canada.

“Greater levels of flexible working will save businesses money, reduce operating costs and boost productivity – ultimately causing a ripple effect across the economy from core businesses through to supply chains,” said Regus.

The specific benefits include higher business and personal productivity, lower overheads for office space for companies using flexible workspace, and millions of hours saved commuting. All of these factors contribute to flexible working’s gross value add to the economy, it added.

“Flexible working has become one of the most innovative and influential solutions that has the power to benefit businesses, market economies, and society. This has become possible due to the accelerating adoption of flexible working as a standard business practice for millions across the globe,” said Wayne Berger, CEO of IWG Canada and Latin America, which owns Regus.

“It is exciting to consider the ways our society could benefit as a result of increased flexible working – especially as the growth projections to 2030 show how critical it will be in the decades to come. Businesses must seize the opportunity to become part of this workspace revolution and continue bringing flexible workplace to employees across the globe.”

Regus said the industries in Canada projected to grow the most from flexible workspace by 2030 are professional services (21.2 per cent), business support services (20.8 per cent), public administration (17.7 per cent), and information & communication (8.9 per cent).

The report also found that remote workers are almost twice as likely to say they love their job as those in the same industry working in a traditional workspace.

“As this study shows, flexible working offers significant contributions to society, from giving people more of their personal time back, to boosting the economy via job creation and improved productivity. These projections show flexible working is a strong economic force that businesses and people should embrace in the years to come,” said Steve Lucas of Development Economics, and report author.

Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald, including 12 years as a senior business writer.

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