Canadians want high-tech, remote offices, Rogers survey shows

Desks strewn with laptops, tablets, and personal smartphones, with less people physically in the office and more in the coffee shop down the block, and nary a PC in sight – this is what many Canadians hope to see for the future of the workplace, according to a new survey.

Working with the latest technology, and working whenever, or wherever, could be two huge factors in how Canadians choose their jobs, according to a survey by Harris Decima for Rogers Communications Inc. The survey polled about 1,000 Canadians across the country, who were over 18 and were working full-time for organizations, rather than self-employed.

Among those polled, 47 per cent of respondents said if their employers were willing to fork over cash for the latest technology and services, they would be probably more satisfied with their jobs. That wasn’t limited to young up-and-coming workers, either. About 70 per cent of baby boomers said they wanted access to the latest and greatest technology, with 66 per cent of Generation Y-ers saying the same.

Beyond just getting good tech into the workplace, however, 33 per cent of survey respondents said they were willing to sacrifice something – salary, vacation days, or benefits – if they were given the chance to work outside of the office. Fifty-nine per cent also said that for them, choosing to work for a specific employer could depend on how flexible their work hours were, or whether they’d be allowed to work remotely.

Of course, part of being able to do work outside the office means using a laptop, or at least something less clunky than the desktop PC. Right now, 45 per cent of respondents said they’re using PCs for most of the day, with 10 per cent saying they’re using landlines. But in the future, many of them hope to ditch the PC as their main work station – about 40 per cent said they would be prefer to be on their laptops, 15 per cent want to use their tablets, and 10 per cent hope their smartphones will be their primary go-to device.

However, freedom from the cubicle wasn’t the only thing that respondents cared about, the survey showed. A little more than half of the respondents surveyed – about 54 per cent – said they’d be OK with their bosses enforcing security policies on their personal smartphones, if they were using the phones for both work and play. About 23 per cent said they’re also currently carrying two smartphones because their employers won’t let them connect their personal devices to the company server.

While the research may not be very surprising, it does show the bring-your-own-device phenomenon is showing no signs of slowing – with some employees choosing their employers based on being able to work when they want, where they want.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Candice So
Candice So
Candice is a graduate of Carleton University and has worked in several newsrooms as a freelance reporter and intern, including the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star. Candice is a dog lover and a coffee drinker.

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