The bright side: Study says Canadian working relationships are actually improving amid COVID-19

I guess absence really does make the heart grow fonder – as the old expression goes. While people are avoiding each other and working remotely as much as possible, they are actually feeling better about their relationships with their coworkers and their boss.

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Those are the findings of a new national study that shows how the shared crisis experience is bringing Canadian workers closer together. The survey conducted last week by Leger for the Argyle Group polled over 1,500 Canadians about their relationships.

Nearly half, 49 per cent of respondents, report an improvement in their relationship with their employer, with only 29 per cent reporting a decline. 52 per cent of respondents also cite improvement in their relationships with their co-workers, compared with 25 per cent whose relationships with colleagues have declined.

It also appears that even those who have lost or left their jobs during the pandemic do not blame their former employers – with a narrow majority (53 per cent) still reporting satisfaction with their most recent employer.

How Canadians are feeling about their boss and coworkers

    – 72% are satisfied with their employer (31% strongly);
    – 69% agree that their employer “takes care of people who work here” (31% strongly agree);
    – 68% trust their employer (30% strongly);
    – 65% agree that their employer is “concerned about people like me” (30% strongly agree); and
    – 63% agree that their employer is “committed to meeting my expectations” (25% strongly agree).

“With employers anxious about their businesses, and employees worried about their jobs, Argyle’s research suggests people are working harder on their workplace relationships,” says Argyle CEO Daniel Tisch. “This is essential as we adapt to new ways of working. For essential-service workers, these are particularly stressful times. For people working remotely, there’s an intimacy to interacting with co-workers from our homes, creating connection even when we’re isolated.”

Interestingly, all this ‘at-home time’ isn’t ruining our personal relationships either. The majority – 69 per cent – of respondents say the crisis has improved their relationships with their families, versus only 15 per cent who report a decline.

You can read more results from this survey here.

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