Climate change with IT: Canadian workers want their employers to make a change

By Ed Rodriguez
Vice-president and general manager of Canada, Citrix

The climate change crisis is a hot button topic among academics, politicians, and even today’s youth.

This reality is that, regardless of your stance on the matter, we all play a role and can do our part to help combat it.

But, what are businesses doing to play their part? Canadian businesses should be thinking about what it means to implement green initiatives, which can extend to using proper IT solutions and implementing mobile workspaces. These changes can have drastic and lasting implications, not only on the climate but also on the employee experience, attracting and retaining top talent, and the business’ bottom line.

In an effort to understand how mobile workspaces can have an impact on the environment, Citrix Canada, along with OnePoll, surveyed 750 Canadian workers about their ability to work remotely, workstyle preferences and habits, and their perceptions of corporate green initiatives. The study revealed that nearly 60 per cent of Canadian workers want to work for a company that is environmentally friendly and prioritizes green initiatives, in addition to more than half of Canadians agreeing that they would be more or as productive working remotely.

Companies can make major positive impacts on their business and employee experience. These positive changes include helping to reduce commute times, reduce office space and energy consumption, while at the same time enabling employees to be more productive and reducing operating costs. Office spaces can be transformed into collaborative, open-concept spaces.

When powered by virtual apps and energy efficient devices consuming less energy then PC’s, employees have the choice to work from wherever they want to work from that day. Companies can also transfer all of their IT to a cloud provider, which again, reduces hardware costs, maintenance and energy consumption.

The antiquated traditional office environments provide each employee with their own PC and cubicle. Today, 51 per cent of respondents feel that their jobs can be performed remotely! That’s half of an office that can work remotely if given the right tools and freedom to do so.

With half of a workforce working outside a traditional brick and mortar office, businesses can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of an office, as well as overhead costs such as hardware, maintenance, office cleaning, supplies and most importantly – electricity.

Going a step further, businesses can become more environmentally friendly by promoting a carbon neutral environment among employees. The survey showed that 57 per cent of respondents leave their PV running over night. This demonstrates that people aren’t always considering the small ways that they too are contributing to the threat of climate change, opening the door for organizations to implement change.

Simple shifts in policies, technology and behaviour can take an organization a long way. Cost reductions for companies and more engaged employees is a win for all. But the greater win is the satisfaction of knowing your company is making the right choices to make a change not only on business operations and employee’s lives, but most importantly, the world we live in and will leave behind.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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