April 18, 2011

Bottom Line on Telework in Canada

WORKshift Calgary announced the results of our research on Canadian telework today. The full report is available here.

Almost 14 million Canadians commute to work everyday, but 44% of them have telework-compatible jobs. If those that could, and wanted to, worked at home just 2 days a week it would be equivalent to taking 385,000 cars off the roads in terms of greenhouse gas reduction.

Employers would save over $10,000 a year per employee, too, from increased productivity, reduced real estate costs, and lower absenteeism and turnover.

Absenteeism in Canada is big problem too, especially among government employees (12.6 days per year). But private sector employees aren’t showing up for work either (8.9 days per year). U.S. employees average 5.3 days per year, and UK employees just 5, by comparison.

Canadian’s commute is 21% longer than the average U.S. commute, and 16% longer than commutes in the U.K.. Worse, a full quarter of Canadian commuters spend 90 minutes or more going from home to work and back – a 17% increase in the last 10 years. But 2-day-a-week telework could save them  up to $3,500 a year, and they could use all that wasted time in traffic doing something fun or useful.

The study was conducted for WORKshift Canada in partnership with Calgary Economic Development. Cisco Systems contributed technical support and technology for the online press conference.