Working from home is here to stay, studies show
TORONTO -- When the pandemic took hold over a year ago, many companies were concerned about how productive employees would be working from home.
But two new surveys find many employers have accepted that for some of their workforce, remote work is here to stay.
Businesses have found some workers are much happier because they can have flexible hours and save time commuting.
Most agree the workplace will look much different when the pandemic is over.
“A lot of Canadians are wanting to work from home the way they’re doing now and it seems like business owners are open to that" said Pierre Cleroux, Chief Economist with Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).
The BDC’s working from home survey found that 74 per cent of businesses plan to offer employees remote work after the pandemic and 55 per cent of employees want to work remotely as much or more than they do now.
The survey found only nine per cent of businesses saw decreased productivity.
“They are seeing more and more benefits than disadvantages, which is why they are open to more flexible remote work," said Cleroux.
Many employees in major cities can spend up to two hours commuting back and forth to work, so being able to work from home has been a time and money saver.
“Our study is saying that most work environments will adopt a hybrid model and from the talent perspective remote work is here to stay" said Carolyn Levy, with Randstad Canada.
Randstad Canada, a human resources company has it's own survey which found of people working from home 45 per cent want flexible work hours, 44 per cent want managers who will trust them and listen to their concerns and 39 per cent want the proper equipment to be able to work from home.
Levy expects there will be three modes of employment in the future.
“You have to think about a team that will have remote workers, hybrid workers and some people who will be in the office full time" said Levy.
Employers can also hire workers in different provinces and cities with remote work and some employees who have moved to smaller towns or cottages can also continue to work from home.
More than half of those asked said if they're searching for a new job they'll want the ability to work from home at least some of the time and say if they can't they won't accept the position.