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Survey says: Turn off your devices when you step into the boardroom

By CO Staff @canadaone |

Technology may have made communications faster and easier, but when it comes to face time with fellow employees, it is best to put your device away.

In the Randstad's Global Workmonitor, a global survey of 29 countries, 73 per cent of Canadian workers surveyed said they cannot stand technological interruptions during meetings. Yet 14 per cent admitted that they had answered phone calls or emails during business meetings.

Canadians are not alone in their dislike of technological interruptions. Worldwide 75 per cent of employees thought it was not appropriate to answer a phone call or email during a meeting. Yet 15 to 20 per cent do so anyway.

This could be linked to a sense of pressure to respond: 43 per cent of Canadian employees and 40 per cent of employees globally said they feel they fall short if they do not respond to an email or phone call immediately.

"New technologies have definitely changed the way we conduct business, and plays a key role in knowledge sharing,” said Stacy Parker, executive vice president of marketing for Randstad Canada.

“However, companies have to learn to find a good balance between virtual and face-to-face communication in order to create a workplace that is efficient, productive, inspiring and team-oriented.''

Interestingly, Canada had the highest number of 'extremely satisfied' employees; 31 per cent said that in general, they were very satisfied working for their current employer.

Face-to-face communication of choice

If given the choice, the majority of employees would opt for in-person communication.

Most Canadian employees (68 per cent) said they prefer face-to-face contact over other forms of communication.

Meanwhile just under half (42 per cent) reported making time every day when they ignore phone, email and contacts through other forms of technology.

Blurring the line between personal and business

Whether it is a phone call or email, just over half of Canadian employees said they are taking care of business on their private time.

Fifty three per cent said they receive calls or emails outside of regular work hours, and 51 per cent reported handling work-related matters on private time.

Just under half (44 per cent) said they received work related phone calls or emails when off or on holiday.

Twenty nine per cent felt this responsiveness was expected from their employers.

In contrast, 40 per cent said they handle private matters at work.

The impact of technology on productivity

Just over three quarters of Canadian employees (76 per cent) said they have Internet access at work.

For the majority of Canadian employees, access to Internet and bombardment of emails and phone calls has not deterred them from their work.

Eighty per cent reported that they are not easily distracted by email and phone at work, while 81 per cent said they are not less productive due to Internet at work.

Other findings from Randstad's survey of Canadian employees:

  • 40 per cent of employees said they have a private smartphone that includes email;
  • 33 per cent said they receive more information than they can process each day; and
  • 15 per cent of Canadian employers have provided employees with a cellphone.

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