Canadian workplaces are rapidly changing, and it shows no signs of slowing down. From the gig-economy to rising expectations when it comes to technology and focus on workplace wellbeing, recent workplace trends have completely redefined the meaning of the way we work.
Top Workplace Trends in Canada
We're sharing some statistics that support these changes and highlight areas Canadian workplace leaders should focus on in their strategies to improve their workplaces moving forward.
"Waves of disruptive change have already hit the Canadian workforce." - William Gibson, Canadian futurist.
The rise of gig-economy workers and the option for full-time employees to work from home has grown tremendously in the past decade. To remain competitive, employers should consider offering this work benefit to established members of their workforce, or implement a work-from-home policy certain days of the week. This trend also increases the need for additional workplace technology and other tools, like Slack, to help facilitate communication between remote teams.
- 40% of workers consider the option to work remotely as a "must have"
- only 1/3 of Canadians spend all of their working time in an office
- Gig-economy employees have risen from 4.8 to 6.1 million Canadians since 1997
Workplace Environment & Employee Experience
Your workplace reflects your company culture to everyone that interacts with it, including prospective employees, clients and your current workforce. Canadians expectations have altered, and employees want to interact with their workspace in a way that makes their day less complicated, and seems "frictionless".The effort required to perform everyday interactions on the job, like reserving an open desk, locating a colleague, or ordering food for a meeting, can impact an employee's experience at work. These normal tasks can become an additional stress, which is completely avoidable with the help of workplace technology, like iOFFICE Hummingbird. Facilities leaders are making adjustments to meet these needs like adding wayfinding systems and activity-based working options.
- nearly 60% said they sometimes work outside the office because it removes distractions like noise and privacy
- Two-thirds of human resources leaders want to focus on employee engagement as a top priority in 2019
- 58% of Canadian workplace leaders are looking for their employer brand strategy to improve the employee experience and drive employee engagement
As employees continue to blend their personal and professional lives, the lines between work and home have been blurred. And because of this, it is becoming more common that workplaces allocate resources to address the health and wellbeing of their employees - considering they are working into what used to be personal time. With increased hours also comes additional computer eye-strain, increased stress and a more sedentary lifestyle which have become concerns for employee health. Gallup has defined the five pillars of workplace wellbeing as follows: purpose, social, financial, community and physical. When these categories are fulfilled employee productivity and satisfaction rise, which is beneficial for both your organization and the retention of your workforce.
- 80% said the workplace is responsible for mental and physical health at work
- 62% of potential employees value benefits as an important factor when comparing offers
- Canadian employees report workplace stress as the primary cause of their mental health problems
Automation, workplace technology and machine learning are rapidly redefining what it means to be employed. Many workplaces are already seeing these changes firsthand and some experts say that the "work has always been disrupted, it's just the speed that has changed." Workplace leaders need to be prepared for this continual change, and the potential negative consequences that accompany it. While technology provides a wealth of new knowledge and data to help make the workplace better, it also comes with potential job restructuring as AI and certain tech may eliminate the need for certain positions. This is a continuous development that workplace leaders should follow to determine how to address concerns from their workforce and best plan for a bright future.
- 41% of organizations have fully implemented or made significant progress to adopting AI technologies in their workplace
- By 2020, IDC estimates that about 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second of every day for every human
- Forty-six percent of Canadian companies predict AI and automation will actually result in an increase to their workforce
Accepting these workplace trends isn't going to be an easy task, as it will take time and dedication to determine how to best guide your organization through these changes. Workplace technology, employee engagement and data intelligence are areas that will completely redefine what it means to go to work and to hold a job. However, they also promise growth and opportunity to those who want it. Staying on top of these workplace trends and adapting to them accordingly will ensure you and your workforce will thrive in the new world of work.