'Enabling employees to regularly work from home and to be productive in the space will be more important than ever'
More than three-quarters (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, according to a survey.
Almost two-thirds (62 per cent) also say they prefer working from home rather than their usual workstation. And 81 per cent expect their employer to allow them to work from home in the future for up to 12 days per month while 89 per cent would like to be able to work from home for up to 14 days per month.
“Working from home has its benefits and there is a desire to work from home in the future. Employers need to be prepared to enable this,” says digital workflow company ServiceNow, which conducted the study. “Enabling employees to regularly work from home and to be productive in the space will be more important than ever once social distancing measures are lifted.”
According to respondents, the top benefits of working from home are:
- saving time by not commuting (69 per cent)
- saving more money (62 per cent)
- having more time for personal projects or hobbies (57 per cent)
- being able to cook at home more (47 per cent)
- having fewer distractions during the workday (30 per cent)
Gaps between employers and employees on key issues
However, employers have not been able to meet some key employee needs, according to the survey of 1,000 people.
While 74 per cent of employees consider job security the most important issue amid the pandemic, only 46 per cent of employers are meeting this need “very well.” Employers are also lagging when it comes to other top issues: employees’ desire for work-life balance (68 per cent versus 31 per cent), competitive compensation and benefits (65 per cent versus 31 per cent), manager quality (59 per cent versus 27 per cent) and vacation days (56 per cent versus 36 per cent) and interesting or relevant work (56 per cent versus 26 per cent).
The top challenges employees are facing while working from home are:
- feeling disconnected or alone (54 per cent)
- technology issues (38 per cent)
- the time spent working (31 per cent)
- a lack of a functional workspace at home (28 per cent)
- having more distractions during the workday (24 per cent)
- having difficulty balancing work and personal responsibilities (20 per cent)
ServiceNow also found that technology issues have been the biggest challenge to workers’ productivity while working from home.
Meanwhile, more than three-quarters (77 per cent) of Canadian workers believe their employer is taking care of their wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a separate report.