A generation ago, working at home was either a luxury or a fantasy. It was understood that work took place in an office or out in the field, and that workers would commute there, stay a certain number of hours, and return home. But thanks to the modern economy’s emphasis on distributed workforces, it’s not a pipe dream anymore.
Today, between 20 and 30 per cent of the workforce is made up of “non-traditional” workers. New Brunswick’s highly skilled bilingual workforce and excellent communications infrastructure have made the province a perfect place for precisely this type of work – and companies like HGS Canada are taking notice.
HGS, short for Hinduja Global Solutions, is an Indian company specializing in contact centre and work-from-home positions that has had a major presence across Canada for over a decade. With the unveiling of its new Work@Home program, HGS has announced the creation of 300 jobs in northern New Brunswick over the next four years, in communities like Edmundston, Bathurst and Miramichi.
This announcement dovetails perfectly with the provincial government’s renewed emphasis, laid out in the New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan, on generating full-time positions in fields such as business services that allow New Brunswickers to live, work and succeed in the communities that they love. People can find great new jobs with companies not physically located in their community; mobile workers such as military spouses can start careers without having to stay in one place for too long; busy parents and students can juggle commitments and create a balanced life by maintaining a flexible work schedule; and disabled or injured workers can return to the workforce with no restrictions.
Opportunities NB and the agency’s Workforce Strategy Team are working hard to match New Brunswickers who fit those descriptions with steady positions that they can grow into and flourish in. To help HGS Canada create these jobs in northern New Brunswick, ONB has made a $1.19 million investment available to the company in the form of payroll rebates. This strategic investment is expected to generate $3.6 million in provincial tax revenue and add $34.2 million to New Brunswick’s GDP over the same four-year time period.
For New Brunswickers struggling to find good jobs though, any investment that generates real opportunity is priceless. The success of this province depends on the success of each of its regions, and companies like HGS Canada can help people in New Brunswick’s rural communities share in the province’s economic growth. The rise of non-traditional jobs in administrative and business support will create new challenges and opportunities for workers and governments across the globe – and in New Brunswick, we’ll be ready for them.