TORONTO, July 21, 2021 /CNW/ – As organizations around the world make plans for their people to return to the workplace, the latest research report from Accenture finds that 61% of Canadians prefer a hybrid or remote work model.
The research report encompassing 9,326 workers in 11 countries titled, “The Future of Work: Productive Anywhere,” found that while 37% of workers in Canada feel they can be productive and healthy primarily while working remotely, another 41% feel they can be productive and healthy anywhere, either fully remote or onsite or a combination of the two ─ as the hybrid workplace emerges.
Globally, 85% of people who say they can be productive and healthy anywhere also say they plan to stay with their company for a long time. However, finding a hybrid model that works for all generations may be a challenge: three in four Gen Zers (74%) want more opportunities to collaborate with colleagues face-to-face, a higher percentage than Gen Xers (66%) and Baby Boomers (68%).
Surprisingly, while the global research found 42% of people thriving, only 26% Canadians identified as thriving, showcasing less optimism and more fatigue in their workforces compared with their peers globally. About a quarter (28%) of Canadians feel their companies are meeting their emotional health needs (compared to 36% globally), and only 26% say their companies are meeting their physical health needs (compared to 34% globally).
“Canadians have adapted and have quickly become the ‘productive, anywhere’ worker,” said Janet Krstevski, managing director and Canada Talent & Organization/Human Potential practice lead at Accenture. “However, the state of Canadians’ mental health is concerning and as responsible leaders, we need to advance the future of work dialogue to be not just about location, but to also address what drives the productivity, health and resilience of Canadian workers.”
The report uncovered that what separates those Canadian workers who are productive anywhere (41%) from those who are disconnected and frustrated (11%), is not stress, but whether they have the right resources on an individual and organizational level to help them be productive anywhere. These resources range from job autonomy and positive mental health to supportive leadership and a digitally mature organization.
Further, organizations that enable a resilient workforce to be more productive and healthier anywhere are also reaping financial benefits: 56% of high revenue growth companies in Canada have already enabled productivity anywhere workforce models.
“People who have the option to work in a hybrid model are better able to manage mental health challenges, have stronger work relationships and plan to stay with their companies a long time,” added Krstevski. “As future of work discussions continue to be top of mind for businesses, understanding how leaders can maximize people’s potential regardless of their location is imperative.”
As responsible leaders consider the various options available to their workforces, they must move beyond a focus on physical location to shape a future of work that provides their people with the resources they need to be productive anywhere. Accenture recommends that organizations consider these specific actions:
- Accelerate Modern HR – The world around us has changed, and HR policies and practices must evolve. Develop a strategy that ensures workers are Net Better Off ─ across six workplace dimensions including relational, physical, emotional and mental —as they transition to new workspaces, teams and roles.
- Design work around people – Organizations must acknowledge and respond to the needs of all types of workers. Organizations that support psychological and physical safety will foster trust.
- Build digital fluency – Digitally fluent organizations have higher revenue growth and are more likely to be considered great places to work. Focus on designing tailored skilling and learning paths that serve the needs of all workforce segments.
- Lead with humanity – Responsible leaders create environments in which the Modern Board, CEO and entire C-suite work together — no matter where they are.