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Sorry employers but the truth is out: Our jobs can, in fact, be done from home

There are very few upsides to the COVID-19 pandemic, but one slightly silver lining is that employers are having to admit that, yes, your job can, in fact, be done from home. Oh, also, that meeting really could have been an email, and probably will be in future.

For years Canadians have been butting heads with our bosses over the perk of being allowed to work remotely and for years they have told us that our jobs must be done in the office and simply cannot be done remotely. But the past few months have proven that this is an outright lie in a wide range of industries and for a wide range of positions. It’s 2020, and there is a huge selection of tools and resources to facilitate remote work and collaboration. And Canadians would like this trend of remote work to continue even after the economy opens back up.

The Atlantic recently reported that white collar workers are expected to continue to work from home well into next year. And a new survey of 500 business professionals from Robert Half has found that 79% of people are working remotely, and of those, 74% would like to do so more often in future than they did before the outbreak. More findings include that 60% are just happy to realize their jobs are doable from home, 55% say they have better work-life balance due to lack of commute, and 75% feel they will go back to work better prepared to support or cover for coworkers who need to be out of the office.

Understandably, we’re all quite nervous about returning to work and being around others and expect to see some changes in the workplace. Here’s what people had to say about that:

  • 73% plan to schedule fewer in-person meetings
  • 72% will rethink shaking hands with business contacts
  • 69% think there will be fewer in-person social and team-building activities with colleagues
  • 61% will reconsider attending in-person business events
  • 59% will reconsider travelling for business
  • 56% anticipate spending less time in common areas at the office

Meetings are a big one, of course. Anyone who has worked in the corporate world knows that a huge amount of time is wasted in meetings that could have been emails. Well, now they can be emails. You have proof and you should not be afraid to point this out. There is no downside to fewer meetings.

Workers expect employers to step up

Workers also expect their employers to make changes to the workplace. They were asked the question, “As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which of the following measures do you think your company needs to take?” Their responses:

85% want their employer to allow employees to work from home more often

  • 85% want their employer to allow employees to work from home more often
  • 73% want better cleaning procedures
  • 68% want fewer in-person meetings and trainings
  • 48% want staggered employee work schedules
  • 40% want a changed office layout
  • 26% think employees should have to wear masks

“COVID-19 has impacted so many aspects of our daily lives — and when buildings reopen, the office environments we return to may look very different from the ones we left,” said David King, Robert Half senior district president, in a statement. “Now is the time for both organizations and employees to explore new ways to create safe, motivating and engaging spaces as business needs, and work cultures, evolve.”

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