Editor's note: networking at play

Okey Chigbo, Editor of CPA Magazine, introduces the features in the April 2015 issue.

I imagine a world in which accountants and other business professionals attend rock concerts to network and meet with other staff as an alternative to playing golf. What if that world gave you — the supposedly straitlaced accountant — a chance to display your hitherto hidden guitar riffing skillz so your colleagues recognize that beneath that buttoned-down business suit beats the heart of a Jimi, a Slash or a Joan Jett?

Yeah, right, you say? Well, stop imagining or dreaming because you don’t have to.

The League of Rock, an organization that is growing in popularity among corporations across Canada, provides such an opportunity for musically inclined and other employees to join a band and put on concerts at local venues. Founded in 2007, the League has grown to include giants such as Deloitte, Microso‰ and Scotiabank that pay a premium to be part of a trend that uses music to foster employee engagement. In Firms That Rock, contributing editor Lisa van de Geyn leads into the story with Deloitte accountant and senior manager Anthony D’Ugo, who plays a mean guitar in the band known as Half Way to Disco, and has been participating in the League for three years; the accounting firm has been involved for five. She writes that the program "provides an outlet for creative-minded employees to bond with coworkers, network with colleagues in other departments and take pride in representing their firm." This is a great story that provides readers with new ideas about how to network and have real fun while doing it.

Not long ago, managers were reluctant to permit employees to work from home. The general belief then was that a company that gave in to such foolishness would be paying for employees to chat on the phone with friends, watch the ball game or Oprah, or worse, take care of their children at home. Fortunately more enlightened thinking is now part of the work landscape. Today, "mobile workers" now number 70% of the Canadian workforce — yes, the figure is astonishing. In the feature Home Work, writer Ken Mark reports that "telecommuter" is probably the best term to describe "well-educated, higher-paid knowledge workers who contribute from offsite locations, including their homes, cars, coffee shops or clients’ premises." So, given the distractions outside the cubicle, how do telecommuters measure up in the productivity department?

In this issue, CPA Magazine introduces a column on tax (Tax Files). The column will appear in every issue and will be written by Craig Bell, who is an accountant, tax advocate and lawyer based in Calgary.

A final note: as further evidence of our long-term commitment to sustainability (it did not end with the digital issue in January/February), we are using a lighter weight paper for the magazine. This began with the March issue.