By ANGUS REID INSTITUTE
August 4, 2021 – The last thing that many Canadians working from home may wish to think about at this midpoint of summer is returning to the office. Their employers, on the other hand, may well be thinking of little else.
A new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds some Canadians pushing back on the idea of returning to work onsite, to the point where many would leave their job if asked.
Half of Canadian households had someone working from home over the past year (53%). Among those who continue to work from home, a considerable group (29%) would like to continue doing so in perpetuity, while the largest group would do a mix of both telecommuting and office work (44%). Only 27 per cent would prefer to return primarily to the office.
The future is also a source of fissure. What would those Canadians who want to continue working from home do if they were asked to return to the office? This condition has the potential to create some tension in employer-employee relationships in the coming months.
While two-in-five say they would return to work at the office full time without much issue, 25 per cent say they would go back begrudgingly and likely start looking for another job. One-in-five say they would lean toward quitting immediately.
Young people (ages 18 to 34) and men, in particular, say they are likely to reconsider their employment if such a demand is made of them. Fully half (50%) of 18-to-34-year-olds say this would be the case. The hybrid office will evidently be in high demand as Canadians return to their pre-pandemic activities with post-pandemic expectations.
More Key Findings:
- 71 per cent say their productivity at home was good or great. Fewer, but still three-in-five (61%) say this of their mental state. One-in-five (21%) say the social aspect of working from home has been terrible, while another 45 per cent say it was challenging
- Half of those aged 18 to 24 say their productivity was “awful” or “challenging”
- Two-thirds of people in households with less than $50,000 in annual income say no one worked from home in the pandemic; only one-in-five in households with greater than $150,000 annual income said the same