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Work from home shifts Canadians' expectations for return to the office

Last Updated Jun 10, 2021 at 8:01 am MDT

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Summary

Survey finds many Canadian workplaces may be unprepared for a post-COVID return of remote employees

Majority of people surveyed expect to see changes to workplaces, like flexible hours, more support from managers

Organizations haven't been putting same emphasis on culture, values, training over the past year: survey

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Remote work and flexible hours have been a reality for many people through the COVID-19 pandemic, and with more companies getting ready to welcome employees back to the office, those perks now seem to be an expectation.

That’s according to a survey from HR company Ranstad, which finds Canadian workplaces may be unprepared for a post-COVID return of remote workers.

The majority of employees — 60 per cent — expect changes ahead; things like greater support from managers, and flexibility with respect to where and when they work.

With working from home becoming the “new normal” for many people over the past year, the top criteria that make a “successful remote work environment” include the ability to work flexible hours, having managers who trust and listen to employees, and having the proper equipment.

And while many Canadians are shifting their expectations as they near a return to the office, only two-in-10 workers asked think their company will make accommodations in the post-pandemic world. That number rises to about a third if you ask managers.


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The survey also finds organizations haven’t been putting the same emphasis on culture, values, and training over the past year, which may make it difficult to attract and retain top talent moving forward.

Ranstad suggests companies focus on keeping all employees, including remote and hybrid workers, equally engaged moving forward.

When it comes to a provincial breakdown, workers in B.C. and Ontario were among those most expectant of a move toward flexible hours. People in Alberta and Quebec consider that less likely.

B.C.’s four-step restart plan includes a gradual return to workplaces, and Alberta’s work from home order has been lifted, though remote work is still being recommended by that province.

Ontario has laid out what people in that province can expect over the summer months.