An office? What's that?
Paul Brent, ctvottawa.ca
Published Thursday, November 4, 2010 1:45PM EDT
U.S. communications giant Cisco says up to 93% of workers believe they no longer need an office. A survey of nearly 3,000 workers in 13 countries showed staff is ready for telework but nearly half of firms admit they aren't.
On average 60% of workers think technology should allow them to work outside the office. They would even take a lower paying job if it meant telework.
The highest support is in India (93 %), then China (81%) and Brazil (76%).
Bob Fortin is Canada's telework expert. He works from his Manotick home and heads the Canadian Telework Association.
"The report tells the same story as 20 years ago. Workers want the flexibility but the number one reason it doesn't happen is a lack of trust by employers and some Neanderthal managers," he says. The big fear is staff will become "tele-slackers." Fortier says his best guesstimate is that between 10% and 12 % of Canada's workforce teleworks. Other nations including Japan, the U.S. and Australia have double our rate. Fortier notes that two months ago Ottawa city council voted to develop a telework policy. In so doing we become the second major Canadian city to take such action.
One big surprise for Fortier was that 45% of those surveyed logged two to three hours a day of extra work and one quarter said they put in four hours or more. Fortier thought volunteer overtime was just over one hour. Workers felt the extra work was balanced off with more flexibility for family time.
Fortier says the new wired generation may be the one that finally pushes telework to be a common offering.
Website of the week: insidedisaster.com
A Canadian site that takes you inside disaster relief work, especially in Haiti.
This Sunday on TECH NOW: A software program used in Quebec to help children to read.