Montreal's traffic problems a concern for employers: Survey

Potential candidates put off by commute, workers arriving late
||Last Updated: 08/25/2011

Montreal's traffic problems are causing problems for employers, according to a survey of members by Quebec’s HR association, the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés (CRHA).

More than one-half (55.4 per cent) of 691 respondents felt roadworks were impacting employee management at their organization.

Of these, 47 per cent indicated they had lost potential candidates who weren't interested in certain positions that involved crossing bridges to get to work.

"The situation is serious," said Florent Francoeur, Ordre president and CEO. “We're already coping with a labour shortage and companies are struggling to fill some positions. Montreal can't afford to lose jobs because of roadworks."

Some 80 per cent of those who believe the roadworks are having an impact noticed growing numbers of employees were getting to work late. Some 43 per cent of these professionals reported a number of employees are arriving 15 to 30 minutes later than usual every day, while 23 per cent said they'd noticed employees arriving from 30 minutes to one hour late on a daily basis.

One-half (51 per cent) of these respondents also said some employees were leaving earlier than usual, while 16 per cent noted many were cutting back their hours.

As for absenteeism, 47 per cent of those concerned mentioned figures were higher than usual.

Psychological and productivity impact
As to whether the roadworks are having a psychological impact on employees, 80 per cent of respondents said they'd observed stress, 70 per cent have seen tiredness and 64 per cent saw irritability.

Given this context, 59 per cent of professionals are allowing employees to rearrange their daily work schedules. They also recommend managers review schedules, allow telecommuting or encourage carpooling.

"It should be noted that this survey, with its disturbing findings, was conducted during the summer vacation period. Since it's more than likely that things will get worse once September rolls around, we are very concerned for Quebec businesses, which are already facing a multitude of challenges," said Francoeur.

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