Most Canadians continued to work in their home province during the pandemic

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April 2022

According to a new survey from the National Payroll Institute, the impression that, as the pandemic dragged on, more and more Canadians were working from a beach in Antigua or a Parisian CafĂ© was simply false. The truth is that most Canadians (90%) continued to work from their home province throughout the pandemic. The survey also indicated that those who relocated tended not to stray too far from home, with three quarters (73%) remaining in Canada and one quarter (26%) in the United States.

Despite the relatively low prevalence of Canadians actually working from other provinces or countries, doing so was an idea that sparked the imagination of many more. Nearly one out of four replied that they considered working from abroad while keeping the same job, and 39 per cent said that they would keep their current job but live in another province or country if their employer permitted it.

When it comes to relocating to another jurisdiction (province or country), the opportunity to experience another part of the country or world (46%) was the most common reason for doing so. Other reasons included: saving money (38%), improved work-life balance (29%), investing in property in a different market (22%), and living closer to family and friends (21%).

Presently, with offices reopening after two long years, the factor trumping any of the above reasons that draw workers to lands far and wide is their pay. Seventy-seven per cent of respondents indicated that they would not accept any pay decrease as a trade-off for geographical freedom. And those few who are willing to sacrifice some salary say that they are not willing to sacrifice much. Only four per cent would accept a decrease of 20 per cent or more.

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