Survey results suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic is unlikely to mean the end of going to the office to work
By Erika Morris
Though some are getting used to working at home, research suggests that many will be happy to head back to the office. More than six in 10 respondents (62%) working at home because of COVID-10 said in a recent Forum Research poll that they have no plans to continue working from home once the pandemic ends.
The survey took place one month after most offices shifted to remote work. Of the 1,335 people polled, 31% said they were working from home because of the pandemic, while 7% said they’d always worked from home. Of the 31%, only one in five (19%) said they plan or hope to continue to do so, and another 19% weren’t sure; the rest have made up their minds that it’s not for them.
Roughly 40% of respondents said working from home is worse than the office—16% said it was “much worse.” About a third (31%) said they prefer it, and just over one in four (26%) said it was about the same. Over half of respondents (53%) said their offices weren’t equipped for remote work prior to the coronavirus breakout.
While the Forum Research survey suggests that most people expect to return to an office, a Research Co. poll conducted in early April found that 73% of respondents think more Canadians will keep working from home, and 63% think companies will favour teleconferencing over business travel. Interestingly, the latter poll showed that among those 55 or older working at home because of the coronavirus, 76% would like to be able to do so.
People miss their colleagues most of all, the survey found, along with their daily commutes. Though some companies may consider keeping the stay-at-home model long-term to save money on rent, experts say it would be at the risk of decreased employee and management productivity.