The end of working from home? Most Canadians going back to work while one in 10 stays home: poll – National

More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, most Canadians have returned to their pre-pandemic working conditions, but for one in ten employees, working from home persists.

That’s the latest result from a new Ipsos poll, which found that three-quarters of Canadian workers have returned to their original workplace.

« Most of us have gone back to what our pre-COVID routines were like, » Ipsos CEO Darrell Bricker said in an interview with Global News.

« So not quite quite back to normal, but pretty much like it was before the pandemic. »

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While Canadians have a number of reasons to return to the office, for the most part it’s because they had no choice.

More than half of respondents – 58% – told Ipsos they could not do their jobs remotely. A further 23% said they had not had the option of continuing to work from home.

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However, some respondents wanted to return to the office. According to the survey, 15% of workers believe they are actually more productive at work and say they prefer to work in person.

Only 12% wanted to see their colleagues, while 7% wanted to separate work and personal 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 as productive working from home. I feel like I miss this working environment as I understood it before. So I’m coming back,” Bricker said.

But 12% of those surveyed continue to work entirely from home – even if they worked in an office before the pandemic. An additional eight percent spend a few days in the office and others at home – opting for a hybrid model – they told Ipsos. It was not their norm before the pandemic, they said.

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Time, money and work-life balance are some of the deciding factors for those who continue to work, at least partially, from home. More than 50% cited these reasons as integral to their ongoing work-from-home lifestyle.

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Just under 50% of Canadians working from home said commuting time is also an important factor, while a third of respondents said working from home is happier, less stressful and more productive.

Other reasons Canadians have chosen to work from home include feeling insecure about returning to the office, the fact that it’s easier to take care of their pets or children, or because that their employer has closed the physical office.

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Although they are in the minority, the fact that one in 10 Canadians continues to work from home could cause problems for downtown infrastructure, Bricker said.

« It’s like a day removed from all the economic activity that was taking place downtown as a result of this workplace adjustment, » he explained.

« And if that happens, it’s going to raise serious questions… (for) those services that we’ve built in our city centers to be able to cope with the level of working people that we had before. »

However, only time will tell if the deep work of the home contingent will truly leave its mark on town centers across the country, Bricker added.

« We’re just going to have to wait a little while to see where it goes. »

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Global News Ipsos proprietary polls are copyrighted. Information and/or data may only be redistributed or republished with full and proper credit and attribution to “Global News Ipsos”. This survey was conducted between June 9 and June 13, 2022 with a sample of 1,001 Canadians aged 18 and over surveyed online. The accuracy of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. This poll is accurate to within ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, if all Canadians aged 18 and over had been polled.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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