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As the COVID-19 pandemic marks its second anniversary, half of Canadian office workers have yet to return to their cubicles or corner offices – and many hope that’s the case for good. Only one-in-eight (12%) say that working entirely at their physical workplace is their ideal working scenario moving forward, and more than two-in-five (43%) Canadian office workers say they would be likely to look for a new job if their current employer mandated they return to the office full time.
The findings of the Amazon Business Return to Office Report, a survey of nearly 1,600 Canadian office workers conducted among members of the online Angus Reid Forum on behalf of Amazon Business, showed that only half of Canadian office workers that had shifted to remote work due to the pandemic had returned to working from their office before the Omicron wave struck in late 2021. One-third (31%) of those that had returned said Omicron sent them back to working exclusively from home/remotely, while another 29% said it increased the amount of time they worked away from the office.
According to the Report, nearly three-in-five (57%) Canadian office workers say they would prefer to either split their time equally between in-office and remote (27%) or work mostly remotely (3+ days per week – 30%). Convincing those workers to change their mind could prove costly, as those polled say salary increases, more flexible work hours, more vacation and better benefits are the top four incentives that would entice them to return to working in-office full time.
Replacing those workers could be even more challenging, as more than half (55%) say they would be less likely to accept a job with a new employer if the company mandated full-time work from the office. In fact, flexible work hours and the ability to work remotely were amongst the top five important factors Canadian office workers look for in a new job – more important than workplace culture, opportunities for growth, advancement or training and development, and in-office perks.
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