‘People are appreciating the foundational necessities of life more than ever — the things that in the past, perhaps that they may have taken for granted’
In the midst of the pandemic, many Canadians working at home want employers to continue to provide this option in the future, according to a cross-country poll about changing attitudes amid the COVID-19 crisis.
While 34 per cent of respondents say they are working from home during the outbreak, 57 per cent of those would like to do more so in the future, found Anstice, the marketing and research firm that commissioned the survey.
“People are appreciating the foundational necessities of life more than ever — the things that in the past, perhaps that they may have taken for granted,” says Mark Szabo, director of insights and engagement a Anstice. “They are valuing their health, their families, their work, their freedom of movement, and Canada’s public institutions. This has been a wakeup call.”
However, in working from home, the biggest challenge workers faced is the lack of basic human contact, found the survey of 800 people.
Meaning over materialism
Throughout the results, respondents repeatedly valued meaning over materialism, right down to their spending habits, which a majority expect will change in a post-COVID-19 world, says Anstice.
In addition to prioritizing the purchase of higher-quality products, respondents say they intend to be more philanthropic in how they spend after the crisis, including giving to charities and random strangers. At the bottom of their priority spending list are fun, indulgent things for themselves and acquiring more material goods. Family and friends are the aspect of life most appreciated by 37 per cent of responders, while 19 per cent rank having a job as most important, found the survey.
“There were some surprises in the findings,” says Sheenah Rogers-Pfeiffer, founder and chief strategist of Anstice. “These findings show that COVID-19 has turned the indulgent consumer culture of yesterday upside down and on its head.”
Meanwhile, when it comes to executives, the majority (85 per cent) of respondents to another survey didn’t believe their leaders were ready for the crisis.