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As many companies downsize their pricey corporate real estate, an increasing number of Canadians are shifting from a busy office environment to working from home for all or part of their week. (Getty Images/Bonnie Jacobs)
As many companies downsize their pricey corporate real estate, an increasing number of Canadians are shifting from a busy office environment to working from home for all or part of their week. (Getty Images/Bonnie Jacobs)

Earlier discussion

How to make flexible work options work for you Add to ...

[Comment From Glenn Dirks ]

Individual contributors recognize the value for them. We find very little resistance now days from employees. Resistance is more likely to come from managers who may not clearly see the value add for them or are uncomfortable being 'pushed' into a new role of managing remote or distributed staff.

3:06

[Comment From Nitin Kawale]

Sarah, I would say that it's starting to pick up. I think companies should draw strength from the fact that Canadians are prolific collaborators in their personal lives. Stats show that Canadians are among the most active users of social media.

3:07

Niamh O'Doherty - To elaborate on Glenn's point, do you have any advice for encouraging managers who now have to oversee remote staff, Nitin?

3:09

[Comment From Nitin Kawale]

Well, Niamh, I think we need to understand what success really is. They should be results and metrics driven. Having remote employees doesn't mean relinquishing control. Appropriate use of measurement and metrics will help you become much more comfortable. We have experience in this as 43 per cent of our employees have remote managers.

3:09

[Comment From Jacqueline Sloboda ]

Do you have any advice to people seeking flexible work schedules and how to approach the topic in an interview where the candidate is uncertain about the degree of flexibility offered?

3:11

[Comment From Nitin Kawale]

Oh gosh, there's a good question. Just ask how your potential peers work and what tools are available to them. You don't have to be shy about asking these questions. Be direct. I assure you, the Gen Ys with whom I speak with certainly aren't. I like that.

3:11

[Comment From Glenn Dirks ]

Fact is the future is here. Almost all managers have remote staff today. They have no choice but to endorse this. If they feel they are lacking is skills, encourage them to seek our the appropriate training, ask for coaching. Managers need all the support we can give them.

3:11

[Comment From Sarah Anderson ]

Thanks for your response Nitin - what advice would you have for an employee that wants to approach their employer about instituting flexible work policies?

3:12

[Comment From Nitin Kawale]

Hi Sarah, same as I responded to Jacqueline. Start with a single business process and prove it out. Go from there.

3:13

[Comment From Glenn Dirks ]

Be upfront with your manager. Chances are they have already heard this request from others or experienced it themselves.

3:13

[Comment From Jacqueline Sloboda ]

So true- Gen Y's are really game changers and shy away from traditional hierarchy, policies and procedures. They love virtual work and creativity left to themselves.

3:14

[Comment From Nitin Kawale]

That's for sure, Jacqueline.

3:14

Niamh O'Doherty - Your opinion, Nitin? Will Gen Ys be the reason we will all work from home in the future?

3:15

[Comment From Nitin Kawale]

I think Gen Ys will help to drive change. But you can't swing the pendulum entirely the other way. It is still people working directly with people and you need to balance things. You can't build and develop cultures in cyberspace.

3:15

[Comment From Glenn Dirks ]

Its not limited to just one age group. Lots of baby boomers would also like to work remotely, perhaps for different reasons, but the interest is still there.

3:16

Niamh O'Doherty - Any final questions, readers? We'll be finishing up this session in the next 15 minutes or so.

3:17

[Comment From Glenn Dirks ]

We've also found that its not an all or nothing situation when it comes to working from home. Most employees only desire to do so 1-2 days per week.

3:17

Niamh O'Doherty - Nitin, any issue you feel we haven't covered yet?

3:18

[Comment From Jacqueline Sloboda ]

Any idea number-wise or percentage-wise of cost-savings of having such a large percentage of remote workers?

3:19

[Comment From Sarah Anderson ]

Touching on Glenn's point, how do companies strike that balance of in-and-out-of-the-office time? Is it established with policies or on an individual basis?

3:19

[Comment From Nitin Kawale]

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