What Canadian workers want for summer: flexibility and longer weekends

Published: May 21, 2019

Updated: May 26, 2019

Author: Luke Jones

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One of the main perks Canadians look for from employers during the summer months is a flexible working schedule.

A new survey from staffing company Accountemps shows around half (49%) of 400 participants want flexibility such as working from home or shorter days with same workload during the summer. Second on the list was the famed “Summer Fridays”, which allows employees to leave work early, with 38%.

Employees are less enthused about work-based activities, with just 7% wanting more group activities. In fourth place was a relaxed dress code, something 6% of respondents would value this summer.

“The importance of work-life balance, in any season, can’t be overstated in today’s tight hiring market,” said Koula Vasilopoulos, a district president for Accountemps in Canada. “As competition for skilled talent persists, top professionals receiving multiple job offers will choose employers who can offer the options and benefits they want.”

600 senior executives were also surveyed, with 55% saying initiatives such as flexible schedules and relaxed dress code are already available. 47% of companies say employee events such as picnics and pot luck’s are also in place, while 36% say they will allow workers to finish early on Fridays.

Insurance companies provide some additional summer perks, such as giving paid days off for staff who engage in volunteer work.

“Typically, we find that more employees use these days in the summer time – either on their own or through outdoor, team-building experiences with their larger team,” said Aviva Canada’s chief people officer Danny Davies, in a note to Canadian Underwriter.

As for Intact Insurance, it says employees can earn an additional $350 per year towards wellness. This financial backing includes fitness classes, park passes, and more. Regarding dress codes, the company says it wants staff to dress for what their work involves:

“For example, when meeting with customers, we see that our employees would dress in regular business attire, and on days where they have no meetings, some choose to wear jeans or adopt a casual dress code,” Intact told Canadian Underwriter.