A majority of Canadians say they want more flexibility over when and where they work - Microsoft Office 365 makes it easier
TORONTO, Nov. 7, 2013 /CNW/ - Microsoft Canada is unveiling their global "Get It Done Day" today to spark a conversation about new ways of getting things done away from the office. The campaign launches with the goal of raising awareness about how Canadians could have more flexibility over when and where they work using Microsoft Office 365.
"Get It Done Day" is a part of a Microsoft initiative to start a global conversation about better ways to get things done. As part of the movement, Microsoft is telling its employees around the world to avoid the office today. But Microsoft isn't closing up shop; instead, it's encouraging its employees to take advantage of breakthrough technologies like Microsoft Office 365 to demonstrate on a massive scale that individuals and teams do not have to be tied to their desks to be productive.
"We really want to get the message out that people want more flexibility and more control over when and where they work, and there's no better place to start than right in our own backyard," said Gareth Oystryk, Office Product Manager at Microsoft Canada. "With integrated tools like Microsoft Office 365, which offers solutions that allow employees to be productive and connect with each other virtually anywhere, Canadian employers and employees can have the best of both worlds when it comes to productivity and work-life balance."
Microsoft Canada will celebrate the day by hosting a unique art installation by acclaimed artist Justin Broadbent, who will be taking over the southwest corner of Bay & Wellington in Toronto's Financial District and putting old, unneeded office desks to a new use - as art. The installation aims to demonstrate how "ditching the desk" can free you to get great work done in new places that inspire, focus and motivate you, which is beneficial to both employees and employers alike. To join the conversation Canadians are encouraged to tweet using #ditchthedesk and share ideas of where they are the most productive.
"Get It Done Day" follows a Canadian survey of attitudes to work, life and productivity technology commissioned by Microsoft and undertaken by Ipsos Reid. The survey found that many working Canadians think flexibility should be a core tenet of business, as most of them believe that today's workforce can be productive from anywhere and that the traditional "9 to 5" desk job is a thing of the past. According to the survey, more than eight in ten (84%) of working Canadians agree that "flexibility in working from anywhere is one of the most important things a 21st century business or organization can offer its employees."
"Having the flexibility to work from virtually anywhere, anytime can make our offices at a desk, in our homes, in a coffee shop, or even the open sea," said John Felice, Vice President of Franchise Operations for Expedia® CruiseShipCenters®. "With the help of Office 365, we're providing our Franchise Partners and Vacation Consultants with tools to successfully run their business from anywhere in the world."
Interestingly, while a majority (61%) say their workplace offers its employees the proper tools to maximize productivity from wherever they're most productive, two in five (39%) cite their workplace as not offering the proper tools- stating this is due to management valuing more traditional work styles. Furthermore, the importance of having the proper tools to complete tasks has provided more flexibility and less stress to the majority of working Canadians (49%). To help address these findings, Microsoft is also announcing a number of updates to their Office 365 offerings, including real-time co-authoring in Office Web Apps, and extra SkyDrive space for four more members of a household in Office 365 Home Premium*.
"Clearly, there's a need to raise awareness about the benefits today's productivity tools can provide to both employees and employers," said Gareth Oystryk. "And that's really what "Get It Done Day" is all about."
Additional highlights from the survey include:
- Nine in ten (90%) working Canadians, including managers, believe employees can be fully productive from any environment given the right tools
- Most managers and executives (89%) and general employees (85%) 'agree' that 'maintaining the perfect balance of flexibility and productivity is the most important factor for an effective manager in today's workforce'
- A sizeable portion (45%) of Canadians would even go so far as to say they would not work in an environment that isn't flexible
- Half of respondents (49%) indicate feeling less stress on a daily basis, due to flexibility and the ability to accomplish tasks from anywhere
* Today, Microsoft is announcing the following updates and improvements:
- Microsoft Office Web Apps. Microsoft has updated Office Web Apps with two highly anticipated features - the introduction of autosave in the Word Web App and real-time co-authoring, a feature that allows multiple people to contribute to and edit documents simultaneously in the Word Web App, PowerPoint Web App or Excel Web App.
- New Sharing Updates to Office 365 Home Premium. Starting next month, Office 365 Home Premium subscribers, can share subscription benefits with up to four members of their household. Each household member can use any of the available installs on their own PCs, Macs, or mobile devices, they get an additional 20 GB of SkyDrive storage, and can manage their own installs from their "My Account" page.
- Yammer. All Microsoft Office 365 plans now ship with Yammer Enterprise, and all existing Office 365 customers will receive Yammer Enterprise licenses. In addition, Office 365 customers no longer have to purchase individual new licenses for external users within their external networks. Microsoft has also created the Yammer Partner Enablement Program, designed to provide deeper insight and best practices for how to sell, implement and integrate a successful enterprise social solution.
Power BI for Office 365. Currently in public preview, Microsoft is announcing that Power BI will
be generally available in the first half of 2014. This feature makes it
simple for people to combine private and public data in the cloud to
create rich, insightful visuals and drive quicker decision making. To
learn more and register for the preview visit www.powerbi.com
About Microsoft Canada
Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Inc. is the Canadian subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq "MSFT") the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting and local support services in both French and English. Headquartered in Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has nine regional offices across the country dedicated to empowering people through great software - any time, any place and on any device. For more information on Microsoft Canada, please visit www.microsoft.ca.
About the Study
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between October 18th to 23rd, 2013 on behalf of Microsoft Canada Inc. For this survey, a sample of 1,023 working Canadians (including 503 in a manager or executive role) from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. The survey is accurate to within +/- 3.5 percentage points had all working Canadians adults been polled.
SOURCE Microsoft Canada Inc.
Image with caption: "In Toronto today, Microsoft celebrated Get It Done Day with an interactive installation. Artist Justin Broadbent destroyed old desks to create inspirational art, reminding Canadians that incredible things can happen when you ditch your desk. Get It Done Day is a global movement to encourage people to be productive anywhere with Office 365. (CNW Group/Microsoft Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131107_C5110_PHOTO_EN_33102.jpg