A majority (58 per cent) of Canadian employees surveyed would like a hybrid-work arrangement that gives them the option to work from home or at the office once the pandemic ends, according to a poll by Citrix Systems Inc.
Working from home has taken a toll on some Canadians, as many struggle to maintain work-life balance amid distractions at home, noted Citrix. While only 16 per cent of those surveyed said they’d like to return to working in an office every day, many are still experiencing challenges in being productive, with 48 per cent citing their home environment as a top productivity killer, 41 per cent citing distance/lack of communication with colleagues and 27 per cent citing a lack of appropriate technologies, applications and document/file access.
However, employees are feeling supported by their employers during the shift to remote working brought on by the pandemic, with 68 per cent of respondents noting they felt supported by their managers in balancing work and home life during the ongoing public-health crisis. Meanwhile, 66 per cent of respondents said they felt supported by their organisation as a whole and 51 per cent said they felt supported by their human resources department.
But the study also noted if remote work is here to stay, then employers must ensure they’re creating a corporate culture that promotes physical and mental well-being and offers greater flexibility in the way their employees work. While 32 per cent of respondents said their physical well-being was better or much better since the onset of the pandemic and 27 per cent said the same about their mental well-being, almost half (49 per cent) of the respondents said their physical well-being was worse or much worse and 57 per cent said the same regarding their mental well-being.
Additionally, a majority (96 per cent) of respondents believe a company culture that promotes mental and/or physical well-being matters. And when asked what factors play into establishing and maintaining a good company culture, 71 per cent of those surveyed felt leadership was most important, with 43 per cent citing flexible work environments and schedules.
Despite the difficulties employees have experienced working remotely, most want it to continue, as only 16 per cent of respondents stated they’d like to return to working in an office each workday. Remote work has even become a main factor when employees are job hunting or deciding whether to stay in their current role, as the survey said 63 per cent of respondents agreed they’d only accept a new job if it offered flexible or remote-work options. As well, 38 per cent said they’d accept up to a 20 per cent reduction in pay if their new role offered remote-work models. And a majority (73 per cent) agreed businesses will lose out on talent if they don’t offer flexible or remote work.
“Employees and companies alike have realized that remote-work styles can be productive when approached in the right way,” said Ed Rodriguez, general manager of Citrix Canada, in a press release. “Employees are looking for companies that put their well-being and experience first . . . [and] they want the ability to choose where they work . . . and have the power to control their own schedules. Companies that fail to adapt to this new way of work will fall behind, while those that do [adapt], will see more engaged employees that are motivated to succeed.”