A new Research Co. poll has found 80 per cent of Canadians currently working from home want to continue to do so after the pandemic ends. This is a significant jump from an April poll that found 65 per cent wanted the option after the pandemic.
“It’s four out of five people who are right now working from home, who really don’t see the need to go back to an office five days a week,” said pollster Mario Canseco, but he added it seems to be that people just want to have the option.
“A lot of Canadians who are working from home are missing some of the features of working life,” he said.
Many mentioned missing their colleagues, daily routine and even their commutes.
“I don’t think the situation would necessarily lead them to work from home all the time,” said the Research Co president. “But, they definitely have grown fond of the idea of working from home and being able to fulfil their duties, even if it’s only for a few days a week.”
The poll also showed younger professionals having a harder time working from home than older ones. Canseco listed the ages reporting more distraction as those between 18 and 34 and said it could have something to do with having young kids at home or pets to look after.
“I think what we see here is a situation where Generation X and Baby Boomers are better at compartmentalizing things and saying, ‘This is the moment when I’m going to be working,’” said Canseco, “It’s a little more complicated for Millennials and I think this is one of the issues the survey really shows.”
As 80 per cent report preferring at least an option to continue to work from home, Canseco told CTV News businesses are going to have to listen to this feedback and take it to heart.
“It’s not the kind of situation that employers can ignore,” he said. “It’s not the kind of thing where once the COVID-19 pandemic is over people will be very gleeful to return to the office.”
Research Co. says its survey was conducted online from Dec. 2 to Dec. 6 among a sample of 803 Canadian adults who are currently working from home instead of at their regular office. The company says the margin of error, which measures sample variability, is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.