The Bank of Canada is adopting a hybrid work model when employees return to the office once the coronavirus pandemic recedes.
The majority of the bank’s employees will have the ability to continue working remotely for up to 50 per cent of the time, balanced over a two-week period, said Alexis Corbett, the BoC’s managing director of human resources, in an email to Benefits Canada. She noted the bank decided to implement a hybrid work model to capitalize on some of the benefits that telework offers employees, while enabling them to also be able to see colleagues onsite with some regularity.
Over the past few months, a number of companies across Canada have announced their return-to-work plans. iA Financial Group, SAP Canada and Sun Life Assurance Co. recently announced they’ll be adopting a flexible work arrangement post-pandemic, while the Ford Motor Co. said 30,000 of its global employees will continue working from home indefinitely.
But even as vaccination efforts continue to ramp up across Canada, Dr. Peter Juni, who is the scientific director of Ontario’s coronavirus science advisory table, said Wednesday there’s “no doubt” Canada is now in a fourth wave of the pandemic. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, four variants of concern, including the Delta variant, have been detected in most provinces and territories.
As such, Corbett said the bank’s staff will only return fully to the office when it’s been deemed safe to do so. “The bank will continue to follow federal and public health guidelines and will adjust ours if required. At this point, we anticipate our timing to be January 2022.”
Meanwhile, on the other side of the border employers are now delaying their initial return-to-work plans as the Delta variant and lower vaccine uptake rates throw a wrench in plans for a fall return. Amazon.com Inc. recently pushed back its return-to-office date for technology and corporate workers until Jan. 3, 2022 as the U.S. sees cases surge nationally.
While Amazon is implementing a hybrid work plan that will allow many corporate employees to continue working from home at least two days a week, the company had reportedly previously set a Sept. 7, 2021, return-to-office date for its U.S. employees. Other U.S. employers, including Google, Lyft Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Twitter Inc. have also postponed their reopening plans amid rising coronavirus cases and stagnant vaccination rates.