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Many Canadians embrace work-from-home lifestyle, want to see more flexibility going forward

Last Updated Sep 2, 2020 at 10:08 am PDT

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Summary

Close to half of workers surveyed say they'd prefer to work from home at least three or four days a week

Many Canadians say they want to see more flexibility around the hours they work, as well as where they work

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Schools aren’t the only ones to be changing amid the COVID-19 crisis — the post-pandemic office may look a lot different, too.

Working remotely is going well for a lot of Canadians, according to new research from ADP Canada and Maru/Blue.

Almost half of workers overall — 45 per cent — say they would prefer to work from home at least three to four days a week, and a “significant number” of people don’t want to return to the workplace at all.

“The majority are looking for flexibility, it looks like,” Heather Haslam with ADP Canada explains. “And younger workers, in particular, are asking for, or assuming more of that, flexibility than those that are aged 35.”

Respondents say they want flexibility around the hours they work, as well as where they work.

Work from home and pay

Working from home has previously been seen as almost a perk, by many. But in some cases, working from home resulted in reduced compensation.

Haslam says respondents aren’t keen on accepting less pay to forego working from the office.

“So 69 per cent of working Canadians said that’s a no go,” she tells NEWS 1130.

“Certainly, almost half — 45 per cent — of Canadians believe that remote workers have equal opportunity for promotion and job advancement. So, regardless of where it is that you’re working, we’re expecting the same kind of compensation and opportunity for advancement.”

Haslam adds most respondents say remote work did not have a significant impact on productivity, quality, or hours put in.

While more than half of Canadians surveyed have already returned to the workplace, many have mixed feelings about going back. Some say they’re looking forward to returning, others are feeling anxious, while some say they don’t want to go back at all.

What will work look like in 5 years?

When asked what the future of work will look like in five year’s time, Haslam says the responses vary.

“Certainly the suggestion is that the future of work will be more flexible. More than one quarter of working Canadians said that they would prefer they used work-flex hours, and that means that’s outside of the traditional,” she explains, adding only about half of respondents say they’d rather work traditional business hours.

“So, it’s actually around the time that we work, in addition to where it is that we work.”

People aged 18 to 24 are more likely to believe the workplace will change, the survey found. Comparatively, only a quarter of people aged 35 and older believe the same thing.

People in B.C. and Alberta appear to be clinging to the past. Respondents in these two provinces are the most likely to think there would be no drastic changes when it comes to working in the future, Haslam says.

-With files from Mike Lloyd