Few employers communicating return-to-work plans: Survey
Less than quarter (22 per cent) of Canadians working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic have received confirmation that their working arrangements will permanently be more flexible.
And only 17 per cent say plans to return to the office have been clearly communicated by their employer, found a survey by cloud computing and virtualization software provider VMWare.
Almost one-fifth (17 per cent) of new remote workers want to work exclusively in an office environment in the future, while 59 per cent would prefer to work from home more often than they did before or exclusively.
“Canadians want more choice and flexibility in how they work post COVID-19. The evolution in their thinking is outpacing that of employers – they want to know that flexible working is here to stay,” says Sean Forkan, vice president and country manager at VMware Canada.
Nearly half (49 per cent) of the respondents say they never worked from home before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the survey of 989 Canadians from May 12 to 14.
Almost two-thirds (62 per cent) do not think employees should be expected to work full-time in an office because the pandemic has shown remote work is possible. Fifty-seven per cent say the absence of a commute has given them more time and energy for their job.
However, 70 per cent admit they miss meeting their colleagues in person.
“The next normal will and needs to be a distributed workforce – employers need to enable working anytime, anywhere and with any technology because working from an office won’t be the standard anymore,” says Forkan.
A separate study found that 77 per cent of Canadian workers feel they have effectively balanced work life and home life as they stay home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but 54 per cent are feeling disconnected and lonely while 38 per cent are having trouble with technology issues.
Relaxed rules and leadership support are among the key steps to making remote work a success, says one expert.