September 13, 2016

Majority of Canadians Would Work for Government, Accenture Survey Shows

Access to technology, flexible work arrangements would attract new talent

TORONTO; Sept. 13, 2016 – A majority of Canadians would consider working for the civil service in Canada, lured by the promise of good pay and a stable career path – but many have expectations around state-of-the-art workplace technology and a stable work-life balance which must be addressed in order to attract and retain them, according to a survey conducted on behalf of Accenture (NYSE: ACN).

Two in three (64 per cent) Canadians say they would consider working for a government department, Crown Corporation or agency in the future, the survey showed. Of these respondents who said they would consider public service, 82 per cent want to be in a highly innovative, agile workplace, with tools and technologies that improve their collaboration, access to data, productivity and customer service (40 per cent said they “very much” want this, 42 per cent said they “somewhat” do). In addition, 93 per cent of those who would consider a career in the civil service would be attracted by the lure of a flexible work arrangement, or the ability to work from a location of their choice, including their own home (68 per cent said they “very much” want this, 25 per cent say they “somewhat” do).

“Governments and related organizations are increasingly aware of the need to recruit their ‘next generation’ talent as the boomer generation begins to retire, and that will require ongoing changes to keep pace with the expectations of a younger and digitally-enabled workforce,” said Dave Telka, Canadian Federal Digital lead for Accenture. “At the same time, governments must continue to address increasing citizen expectations for ease of transacting, requiring digital tools and solutions.”

As an example, Telka notes that the Government of Canada’s Information Technology Strategic Plan 2016-2020 highlights the transformation required to address citizen expectations around a responsive, modern and secure digital government, which would raise the expectations of current and future employees for a digital workplace that supports the flexibility that today’s employee has come to expect.

The survey assessed the views of various demographics, including those who already work for the government. Of those who said they would consider a career in the civil service:

“To have flexibility with work arrangements often means the ability to work from home – and that will require leading-edge collaboration tools to be connected to the office from home, in order to work virtually. It requires policy changes and a cultural shift, but most of all, this is enabled by technology,” Telka said. “Working with modern technologies that support workplace delivery expectations has a positive impact on employees. It creates job satisfaction, increased workplace engagement and ultimately, a more productive and satisfied employee.”

Across age demographics, the Accenture survey showed that Canadians ages 18- to 34-years-old and 35- to 54-years old are significantly more likely than those 55 years old and older to consider becoming a civil servant. The promise of a flexible work arrangement, which may include the ability to work from home, held significant appeal for those in the age 35- to 54-year-old group, at 91 per cent (62 per cent “very much” and 30 per cent “somewhat”) compared to 84 per cent of Millennials (57 per cent “very much” and 27 per cent “somewhat”) and 71 per cent of boomers (46 per cent “very much” and 25 per cent “somewhat”).

Six per cent of Canadian survey respondents already work for the civil service. All other respondents who would consider civil service, BC ranked the highest (71 per cent), followed by Saskatchewan and Manitoba (70 per cent), Ontario (67 per cent), Alberta (63 per cent), the Atlantic provinces (60 per cent) and Quebec (57 per cent).

Ipsos conducted an online poll of 1,000 Canadians between July 22 and July 25 on behalf of Accenture. Weighting was used to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflected the adult population according to Census data and to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. The poll is accurate to within +/ - 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About Accenture
Accenture (NYSE: ACN) is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With approximately 375,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at

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Theresa Ebden
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