Saturday, February 11, 2012

Canadians Face Challenges When Working from Home

Basic office technology is lacking in many home workspaces

DOLLARD-DES-ORMEAUX, Quebec, February 10, 2012 /Canada NewsWire Telbec/ - Almost half of employed Canadians work from home at least occasionally, but their home offices may be impeding their productivity. New research from Ipsos Reid and Brother Canada reveals that one quarter (26%) of employed Canadians work from home at least once a week, with another quarter (23%) doing so on occasion.

However, despite the popularity of working from home, many home offices have room for improvement. According to the study, only two in 10 Canadians (22%) who work from home like the fact that their home office set-up is efficient and functional. Only three in 10 (28%) like the fact that their home office has resources that are equivalent to those at an outside office. And, not surprisingly, this has a negative impact on productivity: only two in 10 (23%) respondents say they like the fact that they are more productive from home.

According to Marc Ruel, Home Office Expert at Brother Canada, the survey results are proof positive that most Canadians are not taking the right approach to working from home.

"Being productive when working from home is a direct result of being organized," he said. "The right workspace is essential. Your home office does not need to be decked out with all of the latest bells and whistles, but it does need to be properly equipped and carefully planned. Most important, people who work from home must treat their home office like it's their real office - no pyjamas, no folded laundry, and no distractions."

When it comes to home office technology, the study indicates that many home offices are not up to par. When questioned about what they would expect to find in a home office, most respondents listed a high-powered computer or laptop (79%) while seven in ten (72%) would expect to have a printer. However, only 65% of respondents actually have a printer in their home office, and only six in ten (60%) have a high-powered computer or laptop.

Other things that working Canadians would expect to have in a home office include a quiet room (64%, just 43% have one), a scanner (61%, just 45% have one), home office products with wireless capabilities (57%, just 31% have one), a fax machine (52%, just 28% have one), and a smartphone (36%, just 24% have one).

According to Marc Ruel, the right home office equipment depends entirely on the worker:
"There is no set rule for the technology that's required in a home office, although it's worth noting that recent innovations have brought us affordable all-in-one machines that can perform multiple tasks and save on both money and space. If you're just starting out, make a list of your daily tasks and consult with a professional at your local office supply store to find out what machine is best for you."

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between September 30 and October 4 2011, on behalf of Brother. For this survey, a sample of 1,025 working Canadians from Ipsos' online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and political composition to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of working adults in Canada been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About Brother Canada:

Brother Canada celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010. The company was established in Montreal in 1960 and is part of a worldwide network of companies belonging to Brother Industries Ltd, of which the corporate headquarters is situated in Nagoya, Japan. Active in over 100 countries, Brother markets a wide range of business machines and home appliances known for their reliability, ease of use and versatility at affordable prices. Numerous Brother products have been awarded significant honours. Recent awards for the company include: the PC Mag Reader's Choice Award 2011 for the quality and reliability of Brother B&W and colour laser printers and all-in-ones, as well as the internationally recognized iF Product Design Award 2011, commending seven Brother products for their innovation and quality of design. Brother Industries Ltd. is a 6 billion-dollar (USD) company employing more than 29,000 people operating in 44 countries and regions around the globe.

About Ipsos Reid:

Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader and the country's leading provider of public opinion research. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 300 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in Canada, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and on-line panels. Ipsos Reid's Canadian marketing research and public affairs practices are staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, offering the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada—including the Ipsos Trend Report, the leading source of public opinion in the country—all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group. To learn more, visit


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