Remote work may have found a permanent home in Canada

Four million Canadians still working from home: Stats Canada

Article content

For millions of people, home is where the hard work is.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

Twenty one months into the pandemic, almost one in four employed Canadians remains working from home.

Statistics Canada revealed Thursday the number of Canadians working from home held steady in November at 4.2 million.

“Among workers aged 15 to 69 who worked at least half their usual hours, the proportion working from home held steady at 23.5% in November, the third consecutive month of little change,” the agency said.

“I don’t think that is surprising,” said John Trougakos, Associate Professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. “Some companies have made that choice.”

“There’s a subset of people who really want this,” he added.

At the start of the pandemic, the new reality was suddenly thrust onto millions. It has forced employees and employers to adapt.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Some workplaces are preparing to adopt a “hybrid” model for workers who might decide to stay partially remote — even after the pandemic.

“They are acknowledging that some form of flexible work is likely to be here to stay certainly for the foreseeable future,” said Kathy Parker, national leader for PWC’s Workforce of the Future.

Her organization has studied remote and hybrid work models and found businesses are preparing for a new reality. That reality could have some permanence.

“It is not going back to the way it was before COVID either,” said Trougakos. “So we are in a bit of uncharted territory for a lot of organizations.”

Both he and Parker said many studies – done during the pandemic – show workers have maintained productivity despite being away from the traditional office.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

In some cases productivity even increased because remote work was – especially in early 2020 – one of the only ways to interact with others during strict isolation.

“Generally speaking, people maintained productivity,” Trougakos said.

With some industries now having difficulty filling positions, keeping remote work as an option could be used a recruiting tool.

“We absolutely have to build some form of flexibility into our employment models because most workers are expecting that now,” PWC’s Parker said. “There’s a war for talent.”

“There are a number of instances where people are being forced to go back in to the office and they are saying, ‘Forget it. I’m going to go work somewhere else that’s going to let me either continue to work from home or have some flexibility.’”

slaurie@postmedia.com

    Advertisement

    Story continues below

    Comments

    Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

    Share:

    Share on facebook
    Facebook
    Share on twitter
    Twitter
    Share on pinterest
    Pinterest
    Share on linkedin
    LinkedIn
    On Key

    Related Posts

    On AIR

    Russtrat world

    Who hates Russia the most?

    MOSCOW, 26 Jan 2022, RUSSTRAT Institute. On January 13, 2022, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov was asked the following question during an interview with