The end of working from home? Most Canadians Return to Office as 1 in 10 Stay at Home: Poll – National

More than two years after the COVID-19 pandemic, most Canadians have returned to their pre-pandemic working conditions — but for one in 10 workers, the work-from-home lifestyle remains.

That’s the latest from a new Ipsos survey that found three-quarters of Canadian workers have returned to their original jobs.

“Most of us have gone back to our pre-COVID routines,” Ipsos CEO Darrell Bricker said in an interview with Global News.

“So not quite back to normal, but pretty close to what it was before the pandemic.”

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While Canadians have a number of reasons to return to the office, for most it’s because they didn’t have a choice.

Over half of those surveyed – 58 per cent – told Ipsos they couldn’t do their job remotely. Another 23 percent said they were not given the option to continue working from home.

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However, some respondents wanted to go back to the office. According to the survey, 15 percent of workers actually felt more productive at work and said they preferred working in person.

Only 12 percent wanted to see their colleagues, while seven percent wanted to separate work and private life; another four percent wanted to escape from their families.

“There are other people that we’ve interviewed who basically said, ‘Look, I missed the office. I miss my colleagues. I don’t feel as productive when I work from home. I feel like I miss the workplace environment as I understood it before. So I’m going back,'” Bricker said.

But 12 percent of respondents continue to work entirely from home – despite working in an office prior to the pandemic. Another eight percent spend some days in the office and others at home – they choose a hybrid model – they told Ipsos. This wasn’t their norm before the pandemic, they said.

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Time, money and work-life balance are some of the deciding factors for those who continue to work at least partially from home. More than 50 percent cited these reasons as an integral part of their ongoing work-from-home lifestyle.

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Just under 50 percent of Canadians who work from home said commute time was also an important factor, while a third of respondents said working from home was happier, less stressful and more productive.

Other reasons Canadians chose to work from home were because they felt insecure about returning to the office, found it easier to look after their pets or children, or because their employer moved away from the physical office had closed.

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Although they are in the minority, the fact that one in 10 Canadians continues to work from home could mean problems for downtown infrastructure, Bricker said.

“This is like a day away from all the economic activity that used to take place in the downtown workplace as a result of this adjustment,” he explained.

“And when that happens, it’s going to raise some serious questions … (about) the services that we’ve built in our inner cities to deal with the proportion of the working population that we used to have.”

However, only time will tell if the entrenched work-from-home contingent will really make its mark on inner cities across the country, Bricker added.

“We’ll just have to wait a bit to see where this goes.”

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Global News exclusive Ipsos polls are copyrighted. The information and/or data may only be rebroadcast or republished with full and proper attribution and attribution to Global News Ipsos. This survey was conducted between June 9 and June 13, 2022 with a sample of 1,001 Canadians ages 18 and older who were interviewed online. The precision of Ipsos online surveys is measured using a credibility interval. This survey is accurate to within ±3.5 percentage points 19 times out of 20 if all Canadians aged 18 and over had been surveyed.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc. The end of working from home? Most Canadians Return to Office as 1 in 10 Stay at Home: Poll – National


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