September: The Beginning of the New “Work” Year

Workopolis poll reveals what would make coming back to work after the summer less stressful for working Canadians

Toronto, September 16, 2010: For working Canadians, the return to “regular” work hours after a summer of long weekends and a relaxed working environment can make it a stressful time of year. But according to a new poll by Workopolis, half of working Canadians (53 per cent) said that the option to work from home would help ease their transition into the New “Work” Year.

Another 29 per cent of respondents said adjusted working hours would help keep them in a sunny mood at work long after the summer season ends and 10 per cent think a more casual dress code would make the post-summer return to work more palatable.  Seven per cent of Canadians noted that fewer meetings would help make the transition easier.

“Employees shouldn’t ignore the back-to-work butterflies they may get in September,” said Andrea Garson, Vice President of Human Resources, Workopolis. “It’s a transitional time which can impact - positively or negatively - the attitudes they have towards their current employers. The modifications some businesses make during the summer play an important role in job satisfaction and, for employers, this a good time of year to regroup with employees to refocus them on their goals and take a temperature read of their motivation levels.”

Pulling the Trigger – Top Reasons Canadians Begin the Hunt for a New Job:
A survey of over 700 working Canadians commissioned by Workopolis and conducted by NorthStar Research Partners revealed that a desire for a better working environment and not feeling valued/ appreciated at work are the two most common reasons for considering a change (33 and 30 per cent respectively). The survey also revealed some additional motivators:

  • Work-life balance is important to Canadians – more than a quarter of respondents (27 per cent) want to leave their work at work and be able to focus on family and friends after hours.
  • Not getting a promotion or limited career opportunities was the reason 24 per cent of respondents gave for looking for a new job.
  • Money isn’t everything, but it’s still important - 19 per cent of respondents began looking for their newest job when they didn’t receive a raise.

What Candidates Are Looking for From an Employer:
What does a good work environment look like? In a separate study of over 1,000 working Canadians commissioned by Workopolis and conducted by Harris/Decima, the opportunity to develop new skills was the most important factor cited (24 per cent). A manageable stress level and a supportive work network were also critical factors (23 and 19 per cent respectively). 

When it came to what makes workers feel valued or appreciated on the job, positive feedback from their manager took the top spot with four in ten (40 per cent) of respondents indicating this was important. Having just come through a downturn, money still talks for many respondents. Nearly a third (31 per cent) said a monetary bonus gives them a feeling of being appreciated. 

Take Your Job Satisfaction Temperature:
Workopolis recommends that Canadians take the time to evaluate their current job and career goals, as well as how their personal and professional needs are being met with their employer.

The following questions may help with some New “Work” Year career resolutions:

  • What makes you feel valued at work? Garson suggests taking inventory of the last time you felt good about work you had done or felt appreciated at the office. If it was a season or two ago, chances are you are in a position where you should be re-evaluating your current job.
  • Are you managing your work hours? Try to leave your work at work and enjoy evenings and weekends relaxing with family and friends like you did in the summer says Garson. 
  • Can you recognize the signs of stress? Garson cautions being aware of specific factors which cause you stress. It’s also important to have coping mechanisms in place that can help decrease how stressful you perceive something to be.

“With the more relaxed summer time work atmosphere now coming to a close, employees should remember that balance is the key to both successes and happiness throughout the year,” said Garson. “Try to leave your work at work and enjoy evenings and weekends relaxing with family and friends like you did over the last few months.”

The option to work from home is something that Canadians from coast-to-coast have thrown their support behind – and not just as a way to carry on the summertime feeling.  Over 20,000 Canadians have already pledged their support for a National Work from Home Day. Once there is enough support for the campaign, Workopolis will approach Canada’s leaders with the goal of introducing legislation that would formalize a Work from Home Day. 

About the Polls:
The Workopolis homepage poll was conducted between September 10 and September 15, 2010 and surveyed 2,293 visitors to the site.

The 2010 Job Seeker Study survey was conducted in July 2010 by NorthStar Research Partners through a poll of over 700 employed Canadians.

The Harris/Decima study was conducted via TeleVox, the company’s national telephone omnibus survey, with a representative sample of 1,083 working Canadians between August 19 and August 29, 2010. It has a margin of error of +/- 3.0 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

About Workopolis:
Workopolis provides Canadian employers and candidates with unrivaled access to one another by combining unique employer branding tools with the largest pool of candidate resumes on the Internet. Through the reach and scope of, extended by exclusive partnerships and community sites including social networking and mobile applications, Workopolis allows employers to engage with qualified candidates, allowing both parties to best assess fit online.  

Canadian owned and operated, Workopolis has grown to 200 staff members across Canada since 2000. Workopolis is in an equal partnership with Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. and Square Victoria Digital Properties Inc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada.

Workopolis was chosen as the first organization to be given the Best Emerging Organization distinction as part of Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures program and was a recipient of the 2010 50 Most Engaged Workplaces award.

For more information:
Peter Harris
Workopolis Communications