"People have had a chance to reflect during this period of isolation, and many workers are now looking at their professional lives, and overall career expectations, with new eyes"
A recent study conducted by staffing firm Robert Half Canada revealed that the current COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way employees perceive working from home and remote working. The study revealed that 55 per cent of office workers say that they have a better work-life balance with a remote set-up, and 74 per cent of workers would now like to telecommute more often even after physical distancing restrictions are lifted.
Additionally, 60 per cent of those interviewed have realized that their job is doable outside of a traditional office space, and 26 per cent are now more comfortable using technology.
David King, senior district president of Robert Half said: “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. 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.”
He added, "people have had a chance to reflect during this period of isolation, and many workers are now looking at their professional lives, and overall career expectations, with new eyes."
Indeed, the pandemic is also making employees re-think traditional business etiquette: 72 per cent of employees say that they will now rethink shaking hands with business contacts. Furthermore, 59 per cent of interviewees will reconsider travelling for business, and 61 per cent will reconsider attending in-person business events.
Even once people start returning to a traditional office space, recent fears may impact how their conduct themselves in the office: 56 per cent of employees interviewed anticipate spending less time in common areas in the office, and 46 per cent worry about being in close proximity to others in the office.
The study also brought to light what workers think employers should do to improve workplace health and safety post-pandemic, amongst the top answers were: allowing employees to work from home more frequently, having better cleaning protocols, holding fewer in-person meetings, staggering schedules, changing the office layout and requiring employees to wear masks.
The survey was conducted from April 17-22, 2020, on a panel of 500+ office-employed workers aged 18 and over.