More than two years after the COVID-19 pandemic, most Canadians have returned to their pre-pandemic working conditions — but for one in ten employees, working from home remains consistent.
This is the latest Ipsos survey, which shows that three-quarters of Canadian workers have returned to their original workplace.
“Most of us are back to what our pre-COVID measures were,” said Daryl Bricker, CEO of Ipsos, in an interview with Global News.
“So it’s not quite back to normal, but it looks very close to what it was before the pandemic.”
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More than half of those surveyed – 58 percent – told Ipsos that they cannot do their work remotely. Another 23 percent said they were not given the option to continue working from home.
However, some respondents wanted to return to the office. According to the survey, 15 percent of workers felt they were more productive in the workplace and said they would prefer to work in person.
Only 12 percent wanted to see their colleagues, while 7 percent wanted to separate work and home life; Another four percent wanted to flee their families.
“There are other people we interviewed who basically said, ‘Look, I missed the office. I miss my colleagues. I don’t feel productive at home. I feel like I miss this workplace environment as I understood it before.’ So I’ll be back,” Bricker said.
But 12 percent of those surveyed continue to work entirely from home – despite working in an office before the pandemic. Another eight percent spend some days in the office and some at home — en route to a hybrid model — they tell Ipsos. They said this was not their norm before the pandemic.
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A balance between time, money, work, and life is critical for those who continue to work, at least in part, from home. More than 50 per cent stated that these reasons are an integral part of their continued working-from-home lifestyle.
Nearly 50 per cent of Canadians working from home said commute time is also a major factor, while a third of respondents said working from home is happier, less stressful and more productive.
Other reasons Canadians choose to work from home include feeling insecure when they return to the office, finding it easier to care for their pets or children, or because the employer has closed the physical office.
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Bricker said that while they are in the minority, the fact that one in 10 Canadians continues to work from home may cause infrastructure problems in the city centre.
“This is like a day away from all the economic activity that was happening downtown as a result of this workplace adjustment,” he explained.
“And if it did, it would raise some serious questions…(for) those services that we’ve set up in our inner cities so that we can deal with the level of working population we’re used to.”
However, only time will tell whether home-grown work truly makes its mark on downtown centers across the country, Bricker added.
“We just have to wait a little while to see where this goes.”
Global News Ipsos’s exclusive polls are protected by copyright. Information and/or data may not be rebroadcast or republished except with full and proper attribution and attribution to Global News Ipsos. This survey was conducted between June 9 and 13, 2022, with a sample of 1,001 Canadians over the age of 18 interviewed online. The accuracy of Ipsos online surveys is measured using the Credibility Period. This poll is accurate to within ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, all Canadians over the age of 18 were surveyed.
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