New opportunities brought about by COVID-19

By The IJ Staff | September 18 2020 09:00AM

Photo: Pixabay

A study by PwC finds that only one in five people want to go back to the office full-time, showing that despite the changes brought about because of COVID-19, they are also bringing about opportunities to reimagine collaboration and innovation.

The report, called Canadian Workforce Study, takes the pulse of more than 1,500 employees and 500 employers across the country, looking at perceptions of productivity and effectiveness during the pandemic and considers how willing Canadians are to return to the office.

Organizations need to adapt in new world of work

"The ways in which Canadians are working together is becoming more fluid,” said Jean McClellan, national consulting people and organization leader at PwC Canada. “It's time for organizations to adapt and maximize the potential of their people as we move towards a new world of work.”

The study indicates that before the pandemic, 82 per cent of Canadian employees worked primarily from an office. Today that number is down to 27 per cent. While 78 per cent of employers expect a partial return to the workplace in the next three months, only one in five employees say they want to go back to the office full time. The majority want the flexibility to pick between their home and the office as needed.

Issues for parents remain

The top two challenges for nearly half of the employees surveyed was maintaining day-to-day work productivity and finding the right work-life balance, especially for those with children. Also, communicating with co-workers in the absence of traditional in-person interaction has been a major adjustment. Employers will need to consider a business strategy that meets the evolving needs of their company, while also considering the changing needs of their people.

The report states that most employees and employers feel their company has the necessary tools for employees to succeed in their position. In the public sector, for example, workers in education, government and health care reported lower access to the tools they need to do their jobs amid the pandemic compared to other industries. The financial services industry on the other hand, experienced the highest boost in output, with almost half (46 per cent) of employees reporting increased productivity during the pandemic.

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