Nearly two-thirds (61 per cent) of Canadian employees said they prefer a hybrid or remote working arrangement, according to a new survey by Accenture.

It found 37 per cent of Canadian respondents said they feel they can be productive and healthy primarily while working remotely, while another 41 per cent said they can be productive and healthy working either fully remotely or onsite or a combination of the two. The survey noted that more than half (56 per cent) of high-revenue growth companies in Canada have already enabled hybrid work models.

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However, 11 per cent of Canadians said they feel frustrated and disconnected working remotely due to a lack of proper resources on an individual and organizational level. These resources include job autonomy, positive mental health, supportive leadership and a digitally-mature organization.

While 42 per cent of global respondents described themselves as thriving, only 26 per cent of Canadians agreed with that statement and exhibited less optimism and more fatigue than their global peers. Slightly more than a quarter (28 per cent) of Canadians said their employers are meeting their emotional health needs and 26 per cent said their physical health needs are being met, compared to 36 per cent and 34 per cent, respectively, among global respondents.

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Globally, 74 per cent of gen-Zers said they want more opportunities to collaborate with colleagues face to face, compared to 66 per cent of gen-Xers and 68 per cent of baby boomers.

“Canadians have adapted and have quickly become the ‘productive, anywhere’ worker,” said Janet Krstevski, managing director of talent and organization for Canada at Accenture, in a press release. “However, the state of Canadians’ mental health is concerning and as responsible leaders, we need to advance the future of work dialogue to be not just about location, but to also address what drives the productivity, health and resilience of Canadian workers.

“People who have the option to work in a hybrid model are better able to manage mental-health challenges, have stronger work relationships and plan to stay with their companies a long time. As future of work discussions continue to be top of mind for businesses, understanding how leaders can maximize people’s potential regardless of their location is imperative.”

Krstevski said senior leadership and human resources departments have a critical role to play in incorporating mental health practices in the workplace. “Organizations must create a culture of equality where it’s OK — and encouraged — for people to talk about their mental well-being and get the support they need. They must also ensure employees have access to resources and training to support them in their mental health and wellness journey.”

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