Most Canadians want a hybrid workplace model

21 May 2021 2 min. read
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Most Canadians (77%) want to be able to work both remotely and in the office, according to a March survey of 2,003 respondents by KPMG Canada.

The idea of a hybrid workplace is popular among Canadians, with 71% saying it should be the standard model for all organizations.

The vast majority (81%) of workers don’t believe their employers are prepared or equipped to handle a hybrid workplace, however. Many workers also fear negative repercussions for working remotely, with 49% feeling they could be overlooked for promotions.

"Although the novelty of everyone working remotely for months on end has worn off, Canadians definitely crave the flexibility to stay at home or go into the office when required," said Doron Melnick, partner and national leader of KPMG's people and change practice. "It's equally clear that Canadians have a lot of concerns about how that will work. For many organizations, it's uncharted territory.”

Most Canadians want a hybrid workplace model

Canadians, however, are eager to return to their employer’s physical workplace for at least part of the week, with 63% saying so.

“This isn't surprising given that our previous research showed the pandemic is negatively impacting Canadians' mental health and many feel overworked and burnt out," said Leigh Harris, a management consulting partner who leads KPMG's federal government practice.

Though the pandemic proved remote work was viable from a productivity standpoint, workers are feeling less effective than they did earlier in the pandemic. Fifty-one percent in March 2021 said they felt more productive/effective working from home, compared to 59% in a KPMG survey conducted in July 2020.

The largest concern for those returning to work is contracting Covid-19 from sick colleagues, with 68% identifying this as a top-three concern.

Relatedly, 72% of respondents are still reluctant to use public transportation because of Covid-19 concerns – a similar amount as in a July 2020 survey.

KPMG’s survey found that workers are looking for assurances from their employers that offices are safe. To this end, more than half want their employer to require vaccine passports, while nearly 60% think employers should have the right to demand workers are vaccinated before they return to the workplace.