85% of Canadian workers want option to keep working from home after coronavirus: survey

Canadians who’ve started working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic are seeing some benefits, according to a new survey by Robert Half Canada Inc.

More than three-quarters (79 per cent) of the survey’s 500 respondents said they’re currently working from home. Of that group, 60 per cent said they now realize it isn’t necessary to go into the office to do their job. More than half (55 per cent) said their work-life balance has improved now that they aren’t commuting, with parents 20 per cent more likely to say so.

When Canadians do return to their offices, they’ll have new expectations of their employers. The majority (85 per cent) of survey respondents said they want to be allowed to work from home more frequently, while 73 per cent want better cleaning protocols in place and 68 per cent want fewer in-person meetings and training sessions.

Read: Employers expect remote, flexible arrangements to linger after coronavirus: survey

Almost half (48 per cent) said they want work schedules to be staggered, 40 per cent want to see a change in the office layout and 26 per cent want employees to be required to wear masks.

Going forward, 72 per cent of respondents said they’re rethinking shaking hands with their business contacts and 59 per cent are reconsidering business travel. More than half (56 per cent) said they expect to spend less time in office common areas and 46 per cent said they worry about being in close proximity to others at the office.

“COVID-19 has impacted so many aspects of our daily lives and when buildings reopen, the office environments we return to may look very different from the ones we left,” said David King, senior district president at Robert Half, in a press release. “Now is the time for both organizations and employees to explore new ways to create safe, motivating and engaging spaces as business needs and work cultures evolve.”

Read: Remote working, distributed workforces could be part of new normal post-coronavirus