Twenty per cent of Canadian employees might work remotely, but a recent survey by enterprise software firm Citrix Canada indicates that how companies define their mobility strategy is often at odds with the tools employees actually need to do their jobs.

According to the “Enabling the Remote Workforce in Canada” survey, 84 per cent of Canadian IT decision makers have remote employees; however, 83 per cent of respondents also said their company defines “enterprise mobility” as simply giving employees the means to send and receive emails from a mobile device – a poor definition, Citrix Canada country manager Michael Murphy said, noting that few of the companies surveyed had created a mobile environment that could support true remote collaboration.

“Providing mobility means more than simply enabling access to email,” Murphy said in a statement. “It’s about minimizing restrictions so people can do their jobs successfully outside of the office.”

The survey was conducted online between February 22 and March 6, 2016, and included responses from 300 IT decision makers.

Forty-one per cent of respondents admitted their company did not have a comprehensive enterprise mobility strategy in place; However, 95 per cent of IT managers who did have one said their mobility strategy was integral to their business’ competitiveness.

It’s also worth noting companies with more than $10 million revenue reported having more remote employees than companies which reported less.

“When a company only partially supports a remote workplace environment there is a higher likelihood it will fail,” Murphy said.

As for why certain companies would be less inclined to allow employees to work remotely, security and productivity concerns tied as the top reason, with both cited by 29 per cent of respondents.

In a separate survey, Citrix Canada discovered that 75 per cent of Canadian employees believe all employers should offer the ability to work remotely, with 62 per cent noting that they do not find it difficult to stay motivated while working outside the office, and 45 per cent saying they would trade perks, hours, or pay at their current job for the opportunity to work remotely.

Citrix released an infographic summarizing its findings, which you can check out below (click on the image for a larger version).

Remote workforce infographic

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