Calgary storms highlight benefits of telecommuting

CALGARY- The idea of telecommuting is starting to look even more appealing, in the wake of the Alberta blizzard.

The trend has become increasingly popular in Calgary over the past few years, and a recent study suggests more than 60 per cent of Canadians do at least some work from home.

When the blizzard hit, Mayor Naheed Nenshi called for employers to let staff work from home to keep them off the roads.

“They might have been a bit skeptical about it before the flood, and I think that we’ve seen that it really works well,” says Nenshi. “Calgary Economic Development has a program called Work Shifts, which gives people tools on how to allow people to work from home even better.”

Dan Angevine, who works in IT for an oil and gas company, has been working from home since spring.

Story continues below advertisement

“We moved to a mobile worker situation at the start of the summer, and then with the flood this year it really kind of made sure everyone had the tools they needed to work from home.”

Computer giant Microsoft held a conference in Calgary on Wednesday, showing off their latest telecommuting tools, including Lync and Skype.

“It’s no surprise when you think of the type of business that’s done in Calgary,” says Microsoft’s Sumeet Khanna, of telecommuting’s growing popularity. “With a lot of oil and gas presence, there are a lot of organizations that have workers that are in remote areas and a diverse set of workers that need to collaborate and communicate around the world.”

It’s predicted that more than 70 per cent of Canadian workers will do at least some work remotely, by 2016.

Sponsored content