More than three-quarters (78 per cent) of Canadian employees say they prefer working from home to their regular workplace, according to a new survey by the Future Skills Centre, the Environics Institute for Survey Research and the diversity institute at Toronto Metropolitan University’s Ted Rogers School of Management.
The survey, which polled more than 6,600 workers, found 76 per cent agreed that, once the coronavirus pandemic is over, their employer should continue to allow them to work from home at least a couple of days a week.
Two-fifths (42 per cent) said they’d like to keep working from home almost every day while 25 per cent would like to work from home two to three days a week. Fewer than one in three respondents said they’d like to work from home occasionally, whether one day a week (20 per cent) or only one or two days a month (11 per cent).
While the survey found women (76 per cent) and men (75 per cent) were equally likely to agree their employer should allow them to continue to work from home at least some days, women (74 per cent) were more likely than men (60 per cent) to want to work from home as often as two to three days per week.
However, 45 per cent of employees agreed that, when they work from home, they feel like they’re working all the time and never have time for themselves or their family. Another 34 per cent of workers said it’s impossible to do their job well when they’re working from home.
Among employees with children, 40 per cent agreed they can’t be a good parent and be good at their job when they’re working from home, a percentage that increased to 52 per cent among parents with children aged five and younger.
More than a third (35 per cent) of employees said they worry working from home will have a negative impact on their career and workers aged 18 to 29 (62 per cent), workers with a disability (53 per cent) and Indigenous employees (51 per cent) were most likely to agree with this statement.
Three in 10 (31 per cent) survey respondents said they’ve switched jobs to find work that’s easier to complete at home. This percentage was highest among employees aged 18 to 24 (53 per cent) and those aged 25 to 34 (37 per cent), while just 22 per cent of workers aged 35 and older said they’ve switched jobs for this reason.