A new poll suggests that working from home may be here to stay even after the pandemic.
The survey conducted by the Business Development Bank of Canada found that 74 per cent of businesses will let their employees work from home post-pandemic.
More than half the employees say they would like to work remotely as much as or more than they do now.
Pierre Cléroux of the Business Development Bank of Canada said working from home offers some employers flexibility.
“It’s a great way to for our employee motivation and employee retention,” he said. “Also, what we find in our research is employers can hire people in different cities. So if you work from home, you can work in another city or even in another province. So in the situation where it’s difficult to hire people — there’s a shortage of labour — this is quite the benefit.
For employees, the main benefit of working from home is avoiding a commute.
“When you work two or three days a week from home, you avoid the traffic,” Cléroux said. “You have more time. That’s really valuable for employees.”
Cléroux said the next few years could prove challenging for office buildings and business centres located in a city’s downtown core, but they will survive as the economy continues to grow.
He does foresee growth in areas outside of city centres.
“The communities who are going to benefit from that is the community outside the big centres,” he said.
“I think now as people are working more from home, they will need more services, more restaurants, more retail, because they’re going to stay much more in their community. So these communities are going to benefit from that.”