JOBS More meaning, better flexibility have become the new work perks for Canadians, says new survey from ServiceNow
Thursday, 07 April 2022 12:00.PM
- As the "Great Resignation" gives way to the "Great Re-evaluation," employees are in the driver's seat – and their expectations have evolved. -
In the new world of work in Canada, the job perks that office employees once valued have changed, according to a new survey from digital workflow leader ServiceNow. Traditional, pre-COVID workplace policies and compensation are not enough to attract and retain talent, forcing employers to quickly reassess the employee experience within their companies.
Results from the ServiceNow New World of Work Study, which surveyed 1,501 Canadian office workers, revealed in the bid for talent, high salaries are not enough to mitigate frustrating work, as nearly 3 in 4 (71%) said they would never take a job that is frustrating or unrewarding – even if the pay was higher.
"The employee experience has become the new currency in the search for talent, and it's critical that companies remain competitive," said Marc LeCuyer, vice president and general manager, ServiceNow Canada. "Experiences are shaped by the type of work employees do every day. Having work that feels impactful or important, and where you feel you're contributing to a larger goal or purpose, are key to building great experiences at work."
The barriers to meaningful work and a positive employee experience
In a time where people are re-evaluating what matters in their jobs, there is a rise in Canadian office employees who need the majority of their work to be meaningful (88%, up 7 percentage points compared to 2019). However, it's a challenge to make this a reality, as office workers are spending nearly a third of their time (30%) each week on menial tasks. That's equal to 12 hours of work – or one-and-a-half workdays per week.
Adding to this, the pandemic has created many challenges that continue to be a problem two years later. These have translated into the top reasons Canadian office workers would consider leaving their job, including:
Increased burnout (32%);
Increased work hours (28%);
Difficulty unplugging (27%); and
Challenges communicating with colleagues (24%).
Artificial Intelligence (AI) seen as a potential solution for reducing routine tasks and stress
With the increase in technology spending among enterprises over the pandemic, McKinsey found that looking ahead, top economic performers are planning to double-down on tech as a differentiator. Canadian office employees agree as two in three (67%) want their employers to invest more in advanced technologies like AI that will enable staff to get menial tasks done more efficiently, leaving more time for meaningful work.
Canadian office employees feel that the benefits of artificial intelligence in the workplace include its potential to reduce stress (46%), free up time (33%) and reduce burnout (23%). In 2022, AI is no longer abstract – it's mainstream – and it's a powerful technique to get to an outcome that makes an employee's work faster, easier and more accurate. Eight in 10 Canadian office workers (82%) see automation as the most beneficial application of AI at work, including applications like IT services, computer back-ups, analytics and reporting, routine tasks, and spreadsheet-based processes.
"Canadian office workers want to know they are experiencing continuous personal and professional growth at work. But they can't do that if they're spending a third of their time on tasks that they're uninspired to do," said LeCuyer. "Employers have to find ways to reduce the low value work. Using digital tools can fill the gap to make every day work simpler, easier and faster to free up time for employees to focus on the more essential and fulfilling aspects of their jobs – the work only humans can do."
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