Canada Plans New Coworking Spaces For Govt Employees in Ottawa

Coworking spaces are gaining their deserved popularity and the most striking example of this is Canada’s federal government is rooting in to open coworking spaces for government employees. The motive behind this move is to allow the employees to work from the vicinity of their residence and to give a third option to the employees besides working from home and commuting to the office.

This move is welcomed by the employees and the authorities alike as they feel that the time is ripe to fructify the benefits of technology and to create a new culture of working.

Canada’s largest employer Public Services and Procurement Canada is at the forefront of establishing the first coworking space for government employees to realize their motive of “exploring innovative workplace solutions”. Although the plan is still under the bridge it may become a reality soon when the authorities decide upon the location for the new and shared office.

The systematic orthodox approach in which people used to work needs a change so that the organizations can leverage all the potential expertise and knowledge from a diverse group of people. Establishing an office downtown and then asking the employees to commute daily for 45 minutes will only cause issues. Incepting a coworking space in the middle will make things easier and accessible. It does not have to be a regular pit stop for the employees rather they can choose to work from their nearby coworking space in case there is some problem or they are running late.

The best thing about these spaces is that they offer everything provided to the employees in an office, Gloucester South-Nepean city councillor Carol Anne Meehan says that “we have the technology today that people can work from anywhere”, so why not use it to our benefit.

A flexible approach

There are several coworking spaces already blooming in Ottawa, the director of community engagement at Coworkly says that “If they incorporate this sense of flexibility and adapting to people’s own schedule, I think that’s going to massively change the way people in this city are going to think”.

The idea of a flexible work schedule has been in the air for a few years. According to a 2016 public engagement survey on flexible work engagement, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) as many as 73% of the participants want to have a flexible work arrangement in their jobs. This testifies that the people are ready to jump into a transformed work schedule.

The PSPC spokesperson said that currently they are unable to discuss the specific locations, but once finalized these locations will make it easy for the employees to work and engage with their daily routine.

Appealing to Public Servants

Government employees living in the suburbs are facing difficulties to have a constant connection with their life, as most of the time is spent in the office or travelling downtown. In this scenario, Sylvia Bakker, a government employee with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada wants a coworking option in the suburbs. She adds that their department has lost several talented and able employees coming from Orleans only because of the long distance.

There is no doubt that the public servants find it convenient and appealing to travel to a coworking space occasionally instead of commuting all the way to the office. Regardless a few people also see some challenges in the effort to implement such a system.

If things change in Ottawa, new coworking spaces might come up for government employees in Vancouver, Calgary, Quebec, TorontoEdmonton, Victoria, Montreal and other Canadian cities.

Charles

Charles is a Coworking Culture Admirer. He researches on coworking spaces across the globe and tries to find the factor that drives people towards these spaces. To quench his thirst for understanding this trend, he frequently visits coworking spaces to get the first-hand experience. You may reach him at hello@coworkingmag.com