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Why Video Conferencing Is Essential – The Statistics Behind Canadians Working Remotely

Over recent years the professional Canadian work environment has evolved drastically. Advancements in technology have enabled certain jobs to be completed remotely. Various models of work now exist and are sought out by prospective workers. This entails job positions consisting of entirely remote hours, entirely in-office hours, or some combination of the two, often labeled ‘hybrid’. The idea is that for many jobs, it is no longer necessary to commute to the office in order to access information required to complete tasks. Due to the capabilities of cloud hosted infrastructure, files, data, and collaborative projects can be accessed over the internet from any device and from any location. This understanding of work, which doesn’t rely on the physical office, is being considered the new ‘normal’.

Understanding differences in preferences for, and productivity of, working at, or away from, the office is crucial. According to a study by Statistics Canada, 80% of workers, who had the opportunity to work remotely during the pandemic, would like to work at least half of their hours from home permanently. Furthermore, 24% would prefer to work most, and 15% all, of their hours from home. Additionally, 90% of workers claimed they were at least as productive remotely, compared to being situated at their usual place of work. When examined closer, 58% report accomplishing the same amount of work per hour and 32% report accomplishing more work per hour. The results varied across industries. For instance higher productivity levels were reported for health care and public administration and lower productivity levels in goods-production and education.

Statistics Canada also found there to be a relationship between the productivity of a particular individual and their preferences. Specifically, the workers’ gauge of how much work they’ve completed per hour is a strong indicator of whether or not they will prefer working remotely. Those who are more productive remotely maintain stronger preferences to continue working in that setting. Statistically, out of the employees who reported their performance was improved per hour, 57% preferred working most of their hours from home. This was double the preference of the other employees, who performed just as well or worse per hour.

The barriers to productivity for remote workers were also considered. The main issue, reported by one in five people, was a lack of interaction with co-workers. It was felt by this group that they were not presented with enough quality opportunities to engage with their coworkers regularly, resulting in diminished peer relationships, and overall less productivity than is otherwise possible. The study shows that teleworkers (remote workers) lack the medium to which they can experience “natural” interactions. Clearly, organic conversations originate through mere chance in an office, whether through water cooler chats, bumping into them in the hall, or swinging by their office. When working remotely, communication is often whittled down to strictly emails, or calling over the phone.

The existing lack of peer connections in the workplace highlights the importance of video conferencing. The majority of communication is non-verbal, and misinterpretations of written emails can be a result of misunderstood tones. Video conferencing helps bridge the gap between the physical and digital interactions. In a survey referenced by Microsoft, around 89 percent of remote workers claimed video calling helped them feel more connected to their colleagues. Video conferencing allows for observation of physical social queues and emotions which emailing and phone calling can’t accommodate.

Why Video Conferencing Is Essential - The Statistics Behind Canadians Working Remotely

Thus, considering there exists a large demand for workplace flexibility, and employees are reporting higher-than-normal productivity rates, employers will continue to feel obligated to offer the option to work remotely. As was found in these studies, video conferencing will remain a primary means of remote workplace communication in order to avoid disconnect between employees. 

There are a variety of programs that offer video conferencing for businesses, and even ways, such as direct routing, that allow the video conferencing to be integrated into a platform with other forms of communication like email and phone dialing. If you are curious as to how your business can benefit from unifying your communications into a single service, and enabling employees to work remotely, then feel free to reach out today! We specialize in Microsoft Teams, one of the most popular, and reputable, video conferencing software applications available.

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