New survey: only one-quarter of Canadians want to return to the office


The world has now endured two full years of the COVID pandemic, which turned work habits sideways as companies learned to adjust. But even as restrictions lift, fully half of Canadian office workers have yet to return to their work spaces, and that’s not likely to change much, according to new research.

The Amazon Business Return to Office Report is a survey of nearly 1,600 Canadian office workers conducted by Angus Reid Forum on behalf of Amazon Business. The findings showed that only half of Canadian office workers that had shifted to remote work due to the pandemic had returned to working from their office before the Omicron wave struck in late 2021.

The study found that the ability to work remotely with flexible work hours has become more important to office workers than workplace culture, growth opportunities, and in-office perks.

In fact, only one in eight respondents (12 percent) said working entirely at a company’s physical workplace is their ideal scenario. Forty-three percent of Canadian office workers say they would be likely to look for a new job if their current employer forced them to return to the office full time.

For workers who face the realities of working in the office, 57 percent say they would prefer to either split their time equally between in-office and remote or work mostly from home. Two in five (43 percent) expect to work primarily from home for at least the next year. Nearly one in five (18 percent) expect to work from home or remotely indefinitely.

This study bears out that business is not going back to how things were before and companies need to adjust.