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Survey says employees reluctant to return to offices

There were few guidelines for changing from on-site to remote work more than a year ago. The same could be said about how to manage the return to on-site work. A recent survey suggests that many employees in British Columbia and across the country are not so keen to stop working from home.

According to the survey, employees are not as eager to get back to their offices, as employers hope to get back to business as usual. In fact, many workers indicated that they would rather quit their jobs than go back to on-site working.

The most desired approach

More than half of the 500 workers surveyed across Canada say they want a hybrid approach whereby they would spend some time at their offices and some time at remote locations. About one-third prefer to continue fully remote working, while almost 20% are ready to return to their offices. A second report indicates that nearly 60% of office workers nationwide prefer having a choice between working at home or at the office each day.

Employees’ wishes

Based upon the survey, the following are the types of support employees would like:

  • The choice to set their preferred office hours
  • Commuting costs covered by the employer
  • Distraction-free personal workspaces
  • A more relaxed dress code
  • Child care provided by the employer

Suggested tips for planning employees’ return to the workplace

Communication between employees and employers is crucial. A principal consultant at a Halifax HR company suggested the following:

  • Focus on the employees’ well-being.
  • Establish a plan for returning to work by job type and site instead of by date.
  • Assure employees that the company would assist with addressing and mitigating workplace illness.
  • Employers to analyze health risks based on behavioural predictors.
  • Accommodate the needs of employees by the improved alignment of listening policies.

The entire process of establishing remote workplaces in British Columbia has been as challenging for workers as employers. Many of the necessary steps have not yet been reflected in detail by developments in employment law. A wide range of issues will have to be considered as the workforce continues to adapt to the changes brought on by the pandemic.

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