While the coronavirus pandemic has caused elevated workloads and exhaustion among employees, it’s also resulted in improved loyalty to employers and a stronger sense of purpose in the workforce, according to a new survey by KPMG in Canada.

It found 49 per cent of Canadian full-time employees had a workload that was “much or somewhat more” today than before the pandemic, with 31 per cent of respondents so overworked that they’re on the verge of burnout or are burnt out. More than one third (36 per cent) said their workload is about the same as before the pandemic and only 15 per cent said they have less, or much less, work today.

Read: Employee mental health top well-being issue for 72% of Canadian employers: survey

While 36 per cent said their contributions receive more employer recognition now than before the pandemic, the same percentage said they aren’t getting the same opportunities to develop or showcase their skills and talent and that percentage jumped to 43 per cent among respondents in the 35-to-44 age group.

More than one third (38 per cent) said their skills and experience aren’t fully utilized today compared to before the pandemic, an opinion expressed by 42 per cent of men and 34 per cent of women. In addition, 40 per cent of respondents ages 25 to 34 and 43 per cent ages 35 to 44 also felt under-utilized.

Read: 90% of Canadian remote workers say working from home hasn’t hurt productivity: survey

However, 80 per cent of respondents said they’ve been treated fairly by their employer during the pandemic. Of these, 18 per cent described the first few months of the pandemic as “rocky” but their employer pivoted and made “positive adjustments along the way.” More than half (59 per cent) said they have more purpose in their jobs today and feel more motivated and engaged.

While 53 per cent reported no change in their commitment or loyalty to their employer, 29 per cent said they’re more committed or loyal than before the pandemic and 18 per cent were either less committed or actively seeking other employment. Nearly two thirds (62 per cent) said the pandemic has proven they can work independently.