A majority (57 per cent) of employees said their employers plan on having staff return to the office or physical workplace within the next six months, according to LinkedIn Corp.’s latest workforce confidence survey.

However, as some employers have begun mapping out their post-coronavirus pandemic workplace, others still have yet to communicate plans to workers. The survey, which polled more than 1,000 of the social networking site’s Canadian members, found 33 per cent of the respondents said they’ve been left in the dark, without clarity from their employers on whether they’ll be returning to the workplace and just 10 per cent have been told they won’t be returning within that timeframe.

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As well, a large number of employers have yet to clarify where they stand on allowing their staff to continue remote working either full- or part-time. While 42 per cent of employees said they’ve been told they’ll have the option to work remotely part of the time for the foreseeable future, another 42 per cent noted they’ve received no information from their employers on the subject. Only 16 per cent said they’ve been told they won’t have the option of continuing to work remotely once the pandemic recedes.

Meanwhile, 35 per cent of the respondents said they’ve been told they’ll be able to work remotely from home full-time over the long-term, while 21 per cent were told they won’t have this option and 43 per cent have yet to hear their company’s policy on the option.

Additionally, employees said nearly half (46 per cent) of employers have yet to announce a policy on whether staff will be allowed to have the flexibility to work an adjusted schedule or step outside of their normal working hours in the long term. Some 38 per cent of employers have indicated their employees will have this flexibility, while 16 per cent specified it’s not happening.

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The survey also found views around returning to the physical worksite highly polarized, with 20 per cent of respondents having said they were drawn to the office to feel like work is “the way it used to be,” while another 20 per cent balked at the idea of returning to the old normal. Of the respondents, 30 per cent cited dressing up as a factor that made them want to return to the physical workplace; however, 28 per cent said it was actually a discouraging factor. Of note, 45 per cent said the ability to do focused work was a factor encouraging them to go back to the workplace, while 18 per cent said the opposite.

More than a third (66 per cent) of the respondents said, overall, the biggest draws of the physical workplace were opportunities to collaborate in person, and 65 per cent cited the chance to socialize with others in person — be it with colleagues, customers or clients. And nearly half (48 per cent) said they were looking forward to workplace perks, advancing in their careers as quickly as possible or having meetings where other attendees are in the same room.

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