A Trend Across Canada - Teleworking Presentation

The Trend
Teleworking in
November 7, 2012
Presented by:
Terry Mocherniak
Partner – Treehouse Business Centres
What is Teleworking?
• As a result of advances in mobile technology including
the proliferation of tablet devices, cloud computing, web
based meeting software etc. employees are no longer
tethered to a fixed workspace
• “Teleworking” (sometimes called “Telecommuting”) is
any remote work arrangement that utilizes technology in
place of travel or commuting
• Can involve fixed or flexible work hours where employees
work full time or part-time from a remote location
• Can include working from home, working from a coffee
shop/hotel or working from a remote office
The Global Trend Towards
• A recent Citrix survey of 1,900 IT professionals in 19 countries
concluded that by 2020 there will be 7 desks for every 10 office
workers, reflecting the growing number of remote workers (this
figure goes down to 6 out of 10 in more progressive countries
such as the U.S.)
• By 2020 approximately 29% of the workforce will work remotely
-- the majority from home or other remote sites.
• 24% of companies have adopted mobile work policies. That
number will balloon to 83% by mid 2014.
• 96% of organizations implementing mobile work styles are
redesigning their workplaces to be more collaborative and
flexible with a move away from traditional “assigned”
Teleworking in Canada
• According to the Canadian Telework Association approximately
1.5 million Canadians work from home at least occasionally
• Research conducted by the Telework Research Network
indicates that 44% of Canadian jobs are “telework compatible”
• Only 3% of the population considers home their primary place
of work with another 9% working from home occasionally
• The end result is that there is an enormous opportunity in
Canada to make much deeper inroads into teleworking which in
turn will have a dramatic impact on the environment, the
economy, worker productivity and employer economic benefits
• A Telework Research Network study concludes that if the
number of part-time teleworkers was increased to 4 million
Canadians, this would have a bottom line economic impact of >
$50 billion!
Environmental Impact of Teleworking
• According to the Clean Air Index, if 1 million
additional teleworkers were to work at home just 1
day each week in a year Canada would save:
– 250 million kg of CO2 emissions
– 100 million litres of fuel
– 800 million kilometers of wear and tear on our highways
and streets.
– $40 million in fuel costs
– 50 million hours of time to spend with families, or on
non-work lives.
Employee Productivity Gains
• Scores of studies have demonstrated that people that work
remotely from their primary office are more productive as a
result of:
– Reduced distractions normally associated with a traditional
office such as water cooler chatter, extended lunches,
coffee breaks, social events etc.
– More effective time management with no commute
– Employees feeling more empowered as they are perceived
to be a trusted employee
– Flexible work hours allow people to work when they are
most productive
– Longer effective work hours as many teleworkers replace
much of their otherwise spent commuting time working
Quantifying Productivity Gains
• A 2008 global survey conducted by Cisco concluded that
their telecommuter employees:
– Gave back 60% of their foregone commuting time doing
– 75% said their ability to meet deadlines improved
• The US GSA reported an increase in productivity of 1 hour
per day per teleworker
• Sun Microsystems also found that teleworkers spent 60% of
their commuting time working for the company
• Best Buy measured an average productivity increase of 35%
through its flexible work program
• Based on a synthesis of numerous studies a Telework
Research Network report concluded that the average
productivity savings of teleworkers was $5,958 annually!
Reduced Real Estate Costs
• Employer real estate savings as a result of telework
programs include savings of leasing/owning real estate,
furniture/leasehold improvements, security costs, IT
infrastructure, energy and myriad other office related
• The average office space per employee has been
reduced dramatically over the last 10 years shrinking
from 300 sq. ft. per employee in 1995 to less than 200
sq. ft. today
• Studies show that the average employee workspace is
empty 35% to 40% of the time
• Sun Microsystems saves > $68 million a year in real
estate costs by offering flexible work arrangements for
its 17,000 employees
Real Estate Case Study
• Toronto Board of Trade estimates average cost of
urban office space across Canada of $44.47/sq. ft.
– This figure is close to $60/sq. ft. in the GTA
• Research indicates that an average reduction of
real estate footprint of 20% can be achieved with
a 2 day per week telework program
• A 500 employee company (@ 200 sq. ft. per
person) would occupy approximately 100,000 sq.
ft. at an annual real estate cost of $4.5 million
(excluding other office related expenses)
– Net savings would be $900,000 or approximately
$9,000 per telework employee ($1,800 across all
Reduced Absenteeism
• According to the Conference Board of Canada, Canada’s rate of
absenteeism is now among the highest in the world at a rate of 10
days per year (as compared to the U.S. rate of 5.3 days per year)
– Much of this is attributed to work related stress and work-life
balance conflicts
• Teleworkers are proven to have lower absenteeism due to lower
stress related health issues, lower commuter burnout, lower
exposure to sick co-workers, and often continue to work when
they are sick
• Based on a U.S. federal telework cost/benefit model, it is
estimated that a teleworker will have a 63% lower absenteeism
– This translates into a Canadian reduction of 6.3 days per year
or approximately $2,000 per teleworker
Employee Retention/Attraction
• The ability to telework is among the top non-financial benefits
desired by employees and contributes to both attraction and
retention of the best talent
• Research commissioned by Workopolis found that a good work-life
balance was the top attraction for workers seeking employment
– 82% of respondents said they would change jobs for the ability to
work from home
• A Telus poll of over 1,000 Canadians found that 89% felt that
companies offering flexible work arrangements made it more
• There is also a looming skilled labour shortage in Canada that is
making employee attraction even more important
– A 2009 AON survey of 278 employers found that 84% said that
the shortage of skilled employees will be their biggest HR issue
over the next 3 years
Traffic/Infrastructure Benefits
• Telecommuting offers a very inexpensive method of
simultaneously reducing traffic congestion, accident rates,
commute times and transportation infrastructure costs
• Lowering traffic volumes also has a multiplier effect on
– A recent British study indicated that a mere 5% cut in
daily traffic volume could cut time lost in traffic by up
to 50%
– Calgary’s transportation department estimates that a
3% reduction in people commuting to its downtown
core would completely eliminate traffic gridlock
• The trend toward teleworking is gaining momentum and
will be a major factor in the transformation of the
traditional office space
• An effective teleworking program can yield > $15,000 per
year per employee in savings while at the same time
improving employee satisfaction, employee retention, and
attraction of the best talent
• Teleworking is a very cost effective way of reducing an
employer’s carbon footprint (whereas many methods of
reducing carbon footprint have a net incremental cost)
• Teleworking will become a key strategy in combating traffic
congestion, stress on transportation infrastructures, and
shrinking capital budgets

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