The Rise of the Remote Worker in 2015

As we embark on a new year, Canadians are seeing a rise in remote workers and flexible working.

With more and more people opting for a more flexible work environment, the latest research by global workspace provider, Regus, found that 76 per cent of Canadians have seen an increase in remote workers compared to five years ago.

This is higher than the global average of 70 per cent, however lower than the US workforce with 80 per cent of respondents saying they have seen an increase in remote workers in their workplace. The report surveyed 22,000 workers across more than 100 countries.

Company size and industry plays a major role in whether Canadian employees have the opportunity to work remotely and flexibly. The survey found small businesses with up to 49 employees are the most likely to have remote workers at 81% noticing an increase in the past five years; mid-sized companies are less likely to work outside of the office at 73%; and companies with 250 or more employees are least likely at 69%.

Those who work in the financial industry have seen the largest increase in the remote worker at a massive rate of 91%, followed by the media and marketing industry at 85% and ICT at 79%.

“As more forward-thinking companies adapt to a new way of working, the remote worker is becoming much more popular when compared to the workforce five years ago,” said Wayne Berger, VP, Regus Canada. “We are seeing more and more companies allowing their employees to work flexibly, however there’s still the challenge of finding the right place to work flexibly.”

So, where should you find the remote worker in 2015?

  • Scoring very low for productivity at just 12% are coffee shops. With their associated issues of lack of privacy, unreliable Internet connection, and background noise, Canadian professionals do not find the coffee shop to be the best place for the remote worker
  • Libraries and hotel lounges both scored the lowest for productivity at only 7%.
  • Professional group or association lounges score surprisingly low at 15%, suggesting that these locations are better for networking than for getting work done.
  • 41% of Canadian respondents say working from home is good for productivity.
  • Business centres score the highest with more than half (53%) of professionals believing these to be a safe haven for productivity when working outside the office.

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