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Majority of Canadians would rather work remotely than return to office

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Summary

A study shows one in five Canadians wants to return to their pre-COVID-19 office setup

There has been a huge drop in the number of people actually working from an office since COVID-19 first hit

Prior to the pandemic, about 80 per cent of Canadians worked primarily from an office

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Working from home isn’t always easy, but a study shows few Canadians want to return to the office full-time.

According to PwC’s Canadian workforce study of more than 1,500 employees and 500 employers across the country, one in five wants to return to their pre-COVID grind, even though most employers (78 per cent) expect at least a partial return to the office in the next three months.

RELATED: Many Canadians embrace work-from-home lifestyle, want to see more flexibility going forward

For employees working remotely, however, about 64 per cent say they either aren’t comfortable or aren’t sure if they would feel comfortable going back to their workplaces in the next three months.

The study has also found since March, there has been a significant jump in the number of people working from home.

Before the pandemic, 80 per cent of people went to the office every day. Now, fewer than one-third are heading into work.

A study by PwC has found while many Canadians enjoy remote work, there are challenges. The top two being maintaining productivity and finding the right work-life balance. (Courtesy PwC)

The majority of those surveyed found their productivity hasn’t changed working from home.

PwC found most people want the flexibility to pick between their home and office as needed, despite the challenges of working from the kitchen table.

RELATED: Canadians working from home permanently should expect salary changes: experts

The top two challenges for nearly half of workers are maintaining productivity levels and finding the right work-life balance, especially for those with kids.

Breaking things down by industry, 46 per cent of employees in financial services are seeing a boost in work output and say they have access to the tools they need.

Health care and government workers reported lower access to the tools they need to do their jobs amidst the pandemic.

“The ways in which Canadians are working together is becoming more fluid. It’s time for organizations to adapt and maximize the potential of their people as we move towards a new world of work,” says Jean McClellan, with PwC Canada.