Findings from Randstad’s latest Global Workmonitor, surveying employees in 32 countries around the world, reveal that most Canadian workers have access to the Internet at work, and nearly half own a private smartphone or device. According to the survey, most Canadian employees report having access to the Internet at work (76%). In Canada alone, 13 per cent of employees say they have a smartphone which includes e-mail that is provided by their employer, while another 47 per cent of respondents report owning a smartphone privately.
When it comes to employers limiting access to the internet at work, Stacy Parker, Executive Vice President of Marketing for Randstad Canada says employers should rethink their assumptions about internet usage.”The use of email and the Internet has become an integral part of today’s workplace. They offer a great deal of benefits to corporations, such as improved communication among employees, improved customer support and research capabilities,” says Parker.
“For a lot of companies, including our own, instant messaging is a legitimate work tool that allows for quick communication between colleagues, helps avoid inter-office voicemail-tag and cuts down costs on long distance charges,” says Parker.
The overall global results indicate most employees around the world are also provided with Internet access in the workplace, especially in Japan (83%), India (93%), China (93%), and Malaysia 89%). Belgium is at the low end with 66 per cent.
Additionally, nearly half of all global respondents say they own a private smartphone which includes email from work, while the number of employees with a Smartphone that is provided by their employer is significantly lower. In China (84%), Hong Kong (79%), India (71%) and Malaysia (71%), smartphone ownership is much higher than average, while Belgium (26%) and Czech (25%) sit at the lower end of the spectrum.
While there are plenty of positives to having internet access in the workplace, Parker does acknowledge that organizations have valid concerns about security risks, and employee productivity. “Many employers are concerned, for instance, that employees will waste time “browsing”, rather than using the Internet efficiently and productively. But it’s important for companies to harness the comfort levels their employees have with Internet-based resources,” she explains. “Failure to do so could very well lead to the loss of top talent and can open the door for competitors to gain an advantage through a better equipped and enabled workforce.”