What Canadians want (from their workplace)

Canadians tend to have a reputation for being a polite people – but just wait until their Internet slows down or their smartphone won’t turn on.

When it comes to expectations of their workplace, Canadians make clear that reliable and fast IT services are the most important factor. In a survey conducted by workplace provider Regus, 84 per cent of Canadian professionals say that’s a key factor in making for an ideal work location. That’s above the global average.

Meeting newly heightened expectations of what IT services are to be delivered at work is no small feat, according to Ayelet Baron, an author and principal at Simplifying Work. But it starts with understanding new habits formed by consumer technology.

“In today’s work world, consumer bring the technology to work, which is a huge shift from only a decade ago when most employees brought the latest and greatest technology from work to home,” she writes in an email. “Organizations need to be understand how to enable business with the right tools at the right time so employees can easily communicate and collaborate in new ways.”

Key features of the ideal work locationCanadians are a trusting bunch

For workers that don’t find IT services to be adequate at work, they may seek out a WiFi connection at a local cafe. When it comes to considering privacy in that scenario, Canadians seem less paranoid than the rest of the world.

Most of the world felt that cafes were the most risky place in terms of being snooped on, with an average of 62 per cent globally saying its the most risky location to work. But Canadians were a bit less concerned, with only about 56 per cent feeling cafes posed the most risk. Compared to Americans or Japanese, Canadians are quite comfortable sipping a latte while working away.

Working in cafes can be fine if proper precautions are taken, says Marylka Empey, managing partner at Trinity Associates Inc.

“There are privacy screens that can be put up. Documents that need to be read can be read on a tablet or phone – smaller screens make it harder for a stranger to peek and read,” she writes in an email. “It’s not only the employee, but the organization that need to share in the responsibility of managing privacy to ensure that it is done successfully and without negative repercussion.”

Canadians are commutin’ to the oldies

Don’t tell this to anyone that works in the Greater Toronto Area, but on average Canadians enjoy some of the shortest commute times around the world. Globally, workers are spending 32.5 minutes each way to commute to work. But Canadians spent just 29 minutes each way on average. (Be glad you don’t work in Belgium, where workers face the longest commute time of 42 minutes on average).

The most popular activity to pass the time on the way to work among Canadians is to listen to music, at 64 per cent. In other countries, making phone calls ranked as the most popular activity, slightly ahead of listening to tunes.

Activities carried out while commuting - worldwideShould Canadians be looking to be more productive with their time on the way to the office? Our experts say not to stress about it.

“If music makes you happy then go ahead and listen to music,” Baron says. “I like to catch up with friends and family. I also listen to audio books and meditation, although I keep my eyes open while driving!”

For Empey, although she recognizes commute time can be an opportunity for some quality “me” time, she prefers to stay productive.

“I feel that if I am not reading to learn something or do something work related that I am being unproductive,” she says. “If I am commuting in the morning rush hour, then reading is usually what I do as the train is too crowded for me to work on my laptop.”

How do you spend your time commuting to work? Let us know in the comments below.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Brian Jackson
Brian Jacksonhttp://www.itbusiness.ca
Editorial director of IT World Canada. Covering technology as it applies to business users. Multiple COPA award winner and now judge. Paddles a canoe as much as possible.

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