Workers will ask for raises, promotions post-pandemic: Poll

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Expect a big culture shift coming when it comes to Canadians wanting to make post-pandemic changes at work.

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An Angus Reid poll — Flying the Pandemic Coop — found 59% of Canadians, aged 18-34, are planning to ask for promotions and raises and be more proactive about training and learning on the job.

The survey — commissioned by Alberta’s Athabasca University — also showed 68% of Canadians want a better work-life balance and if something isn’t working for them at work, they plan to make changes.

But should employers be worried?

“I think it’s something they should be excited to press into,” said Andrew Perrin, associate vice-president of research at Athabasca University.

“There’s a real desire and drive for people to engage in training and new styles of work that embrace things like emerging technologies, new ways of connecting,” he added.

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The poll found 73% of those who responded want employers to invest more in their skills and offer digital training, especially given the pandemic’s shift to virtual work.

The poll found 31% said if they had to choose one area to focus on to improve their work skills, it would be better emotional resilience to support their mental health, while 27% responded they wanted better digital skills to become more tech-savvy.

Another 61% said they’ll take a vacation somewhere in Canada or the U.S. as soon as possible, while 80% of respondents said they’ll keep saving until after the pandemic is over.

The survey showed 76% want to prioritize quality family time, travel, and passion projects, and another 74% say they plan to invest in themselves.

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“I think we all want to take a vacation to fly the coop, as the title of the poll suggests,” said Perrin.

“But also there’s a recognition that we do want flexibility in our life,” he added. “I think the old term, work-life balance, is probably not something that really works anymore. What we’re looking for is a holistic framework for all of our life, be it work, vacation, family, friends, and trying to find one of the ways that all aspects of that can be flexible with our resources that we have.”

Conducted in English and French on May 5-6, the poll was based on a sample of 1,531 Canadian adults — members of the online Angus Reid Forum. A probability sample of this size would yield a margin of error of  2.4%, 19 times out of 20.

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