While a majority of employers envision a full-time return to the office post-coronavirus pandemic, many also plan to introduce flexible working arrangements, according to a new survey by ManpowerGroup Canada.
It found 70 per cent of employers said the majority (76 per cent to 100 per cent) of their employees have roles that require them to be based in the workplace all or most of the time. In addition, 79 per cent of employers said over the next six to 12 months, they expect most of their employees to report to the workplace all of the time.
However, many employers said they generally have a favourable view of remote working and are planning to introduce options such as flexible start and finish times (40 per cent), flexible or condensed hours (37 per cent) and job sharing (16 per cent). And while some employers report concerns about remote working — such as potential lost productivity, impacts on employee well-being and obstacles to collaboration — 46 per cent said they have no concerns at all.
“Widespread vaccination and settling of the pandemic may well be contributing to an increase in employers planning to return to workplace-based working for the third quarter of 2021,” said Darlene Minatel, country manager of ManpowerGroup Canada, in a press release.
In an emailed statement to Benefits Canada, Mark McLean, senior regional vice-president of Experis Canada — the information technology branch of Manpower Group — said there was a notable increase in the number of employers that foresee a return to the workplace compared to a previous survey published in March 2021. “The jump was from 50 per cent of respondents in [the second quarter] to 79 per cent in [the third quarter]. Employers are increasingly comfortable with the idea of a return to workplace-based working.”