- Half of Canadian office workers say working mostly/entirely remote is their ideal scenario; only one-quarter prefer mostly/entirely in office
- Ability to work remotely and flexible work hours are now more important to office workers than workplace culture, development/growth opportunities and in-office perks
- Two-in-five say they would look for another job if mandated to return to office full-time, while more than half would be less likely to accept a job with a new employer if they mandated full-time in-office work
- Only half of Canadian office workers had returned before Omicron; one-third say Omicron shifted them back to working exclusively from home/remotely and led to short term delays in employer's return-to-office plans
TORONTO, March 10, 2022 /CNW/ - 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.
"It's clear that the role that the physical office plays in the day-to-day work and satisfaction of employees has changed dramatically during the pandemic. We're not going back to how things were before, and businesses need to adjust to the many operational realities that come with that," says Nick Georgijev, Country Manager for Amazon Business Canada. "Canadian employers will need to consider not just how and when to bring their employees back to the office, but if they should... and how to set that talent up for success from anywhere if they don't return entirely."
Impact of In-Office Expectations on Talent Retention and Attraction
Expectations around in-office versus remote are likely to play a big factor in the ability of Canadian employers to keep their best employees happy, and how they bring top talent aboard to fill new roles.
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.
Other notable findings from the survey included:
- 50% of office workers that shifted to remote due to the pandemic had returned to the office prior to the Omicron wave
- Nearly half (48%) of those returned before the end of 2020, and a little over one-third (36%) returned in the second half of 2021
- Office workers in British Columbia (60%) were the most likely to have returned to the office before the Omicron wave, while workers in Ontario were the least likely to have done so (43%)
- Of those that had returned to the office before Omicron:
- Four-out-of-five (79%) say they worked in-office five days a week before the pandemic, but only 43% have returned to a full five-day in-office work week
- Less than one-in-ten (7%) worked fewer than three days in office per week pre-pandemic, but that spiked to 24% after returning before November 2021
- Of those that had not returned to the office before Omicron:
- Seven-in-ten (69%) say they worked in-office five days a week before the pandemic, but only 12% expect to do so once they finally return
- Roughly one-in-eight (13%) worked fewer than three days a week in office pre-pandemic, but nearly half (48%) expect to work two or less days in office per week once returning
- Two-in-five (43%) expect to work primarily from home for at least the next year
- Nearly one-in-five (18%) expect to work from home or remotely indefinitely
- One-in-three (32%) office workers that shifted to remote work during the pandemic received a stipend to purchase home office equipment and supplies to help them work from home. Only one-in-three (31%) from that group say they believe those stipends will continue moving forward.
- Ontario (35%) and Quebec employees (41%) were the most likely to have costs related to working from home covered by their employer
- For those that did receive a stipend, one-quarter (27%) received $500 or more; one-quarter (26%) received less than $200
- Of those that had returned to the office before the Omicron wave, nearly two-thirds (63%) say that they were still doing most or all of their meetings via video. Only about one-in-seven (15%) say that most or all of their meetings were in-person.
"Employers need to reconsider everything about their physical working spaces to meet the changing demands of their current and future workforce. That includes everything from their real estate footprint to procurement to technology and supplies," adds Georgijev. "Those that adapt best and quickest will have a strong advantage, particularly if they provide their teams the means to thrive while working remotely."
Amazon Business helps Canadian organizations of all sizes meet a wide range of procurement needs with features and benefits that simplify their processes and help increase efficiency. It also provides access to features that make shopping for work easy and convenient, including Business Prime, quantity discounts, and helpful spend reports to better understand, manage, and grow their business. Amazon Business also makes it easy for small businesses selling on Amazon to reach new customers across the country, as customers have access to the over 40,000 small businesses selling on Amazon.ca.
About the Survey
The Amazon Business Return to Office Report was conducted in two waves, in December 2021 and February 2022. A survey was completed from December 12-16, 2021 among members of the online Angus Reid Forum, with a sample of 1,595 employed Canadians who transitioned to remote work at some point during the pandemic. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The survey was offered in both English and French. From February 11-14, a second survey of 423 such Canadians was completed in order to examine the impact of the omicron wave on return-to-office plans. For comparison purposes, a probably sample of this size would yield a margin of error of +/- 4.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Both surveys were offered in English or French.
About Amazon Business
Amazon Business helps millions of customers worldwide—from small businesses, schools, hospitals, non-profit organizations, and government agencies, to large enterprises with global operations—reshape their procurement with cost and time savings, greater productivity, and insightful purchasing analytics. Procurement and business leaders enjoy convenient shipping options on hundreds of millions of supplies across categories like office, IT, janitorial, food service, and professional medical supplies. Customers also have access to a variety of business-tailored features and benefits, including a curated site experience, Business Prime, business-only pricing and selection, single or multi user business accounts, approvals workflow, purchasing system integrations, payment solutions, VAT invoicing tools, dedicated customer support, and more. Amazon Business is currently available in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, and India. For more information, visit www.business.amazon.ca.
SOURCE Amazon Canada
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