Gartner predicts 40% of organizations will offer a blend of virtual and physical work experiences by the end of 2023.
“Hybrid work has changed the nature of our workplaces more than anything else since the invention of the internet,” Ryan Wong, CEO of Vancouver-based tech unicorn Visier, stated recently.
Within tech companies hiring tech talent, that figure is already at 99%, according to Tech + People Network. No wonder the tech sector is portrayed as contributing to higher vacancy rates in Canadian cities such as Calgary.
Neo Financial is looking to break that stereotype within the major startup hub, which currently suffers from a historic high vacancy rate among office space.
Neo this year created a Calgary Tech Campus with 113,000 square feet of downtown office space in the Edison office tower and a converted floor at the downtown Hudson’s Bay.
“We have zero remote individuals on our team. We’ve been very deliberate on that,” CEO Andrew Chau stated at the recent Calgary Real Estate Forum. “Everyone is in the office. Five days a week.”
Why? As a startup, Chau acknowledged that Neo doesn’t yet have an established culture. However, he believes that for people seeking an opportunity to work in a fast-paced, high-performance environment, then Neo’s office policy could be seen as a perk and advantage.
In September, the well-funded Neo was included on LinkedIn’s 5th annual Top Startups list that features Canadian companies rising to the challenges of the moment and continuing to innovate in 2022.
“You have to be in the office to have a strong culture,” agrees iNovia Capital partner Shawn Abbot.
Mike Mannix, founder and managing partner of Band Capital Partners, stated at the Forum that “The momentum in company formation and attracting capital is beginning to create Calgary’s own herd of unicorns.”
However, Mannix admitted the market-to-watch needs more talent to truly grow and thrive in tech.
Al Del Degan, cofounder of New Idea Machine, a custom development and mentorship startup in Calgary, notes there are currently 2,500 open tech jobs in Calgary alone. He says many positions, such as senior software developer, are simply in short supply.
New Idea worked with InceptionU to develop a regenerative model addressing the region’s chronic talent problem.
On top of private efforts, major investments like the Province’s quantum physics hub further drive innovation and up-skilling among talent pools.
Overall, Calgary boasts strong post-Pandemic momentum, experts believe.
As one of Canada’s largest technology and startup hubs, the city employs 33,000 people in tech. Despite a “notable impact” of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Alberta’s economy, the province’s digital economy “remained resilient and thrived,” concluded a recent report from the Information and Communications Technology Council of Canada. From February 2020 to May 2022, participation in Alberta’s digital economy grew by nearly 18%, according to the report.
Regardless of a desire to work in-office, at-home, or a hybrid therein, most agree that tech talent currently sits in the driver’s seat.
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