1 in 3 Canadians are willing to change jobs to continue working from home: Ipsos poll – National
Many Canadians want to continue working from home and are even willing to change jobs to find an employer who would let them, according to a new Ipsos poll.
The survey, conducted exclusively for Global News, found that one in three Canadians (32%) said they would look for another job if their employer forced them to work exclusively in an office, a sentiment more widely shared by people aged 18 to 34 (42%) than those aged 35 to 54 (29%) and those aged 55 and over (22%).
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“The pandemic has had a profound impact on the workplace, and many Canadian workers don’t want to go back to how it was before. This is a lasting change, a lasting impact of the pandemic,” said Sean Simpson, senior vice president of Ipsos.
“Many appreciate the new flexible working environment, wish it would stay that way, and are willing to change jobs to find it,” he added.
Over the past year, the survey showed that 15% have already changed jobs so they can continue to work from home, a trend again more common among 18-34 year olds (24%) than among Canadian workers. aged 35 to 54 (11%) or aged 55 and over (6%).
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“The most important thing is that commuting takes time and money…and for young people, if they can save money by staying at home, that’s something they want to do. said Simpson.
According to the survey, almost half (44%) of Canadians surveyed acknowledged that their employers had adopted flexible work arrangements that did not exist before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Simpson also thinks the choice to work remotely is very much tied to the housing crisis in Canada.
“Young people find it difficult to save for down payments and to buy houses… Younger people say, ‘If I can save money by eating at home and staying at home instead of going to work, why wouldn’t I?’”
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The survey found that workers in Ontario are the most likely (51%) to say their workplace has adopted a flexible model, followed by those living in Atlantic Canada (43%), British Columbia (43%), Quebec (38%), Alberta (34%) and Saskatchewan and Manitoba (28%).
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“I think it’s because in Ontario … the price of housing is so high, we know a lot of people have moved farther away from their office,” Simpson said.
“Their movements are more important. It takes longer to get around in Ontario simply because of congestion than in many other places in the country,” he added.
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Many Canadians are willing to give up part of their salary to gain flexibility: almost four in ten (36%) say they would accept a lower-paying job if they could work from home rather than in the office, according to the survey.
As young Canadians see the benefits of working from home, a recent study shows it could impact productivity and creativity.
A study titled Virtual communication hinders the generation of creative ideas published in Nature on April 27 revealed that videoconferencing at work makes it harder for employees to come up with creative ideas because the creative process concentrates people on a screen, reducing cognitive focus.
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The results of the study, based on field experience in five countries, including Europe, the Middle East and South Asia, suggest “that virtual interaction has a cognitive cost for the generation of ideas creative”.
“When two people look into each other’s eyes on the screen, neither partner appears to be looking into each other’s eyes, which could affect communication coordination,” the study said.
However, despite the study suggesting that there is a unique cognitive benefit to in-person collaboration, researchers still acknowledge that using virtual teams helps reduce the cost of travel and real estate.
“There are concrete and immediate economic benefits to virtual interaction,” the researchers said. “To capture the best of both worlds, many workplaces currently plan for or combine in-person and virtual interaction… Our findings indicate that in these hybrid setups, it might make sense to prioritize the generation of ‘creative ideas during face-to-face meetings.’
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The Ipsos poll showed that despite the economic benefits, not all Canadians want to work permanently from home. In fact, four in 10 (42%) say the pandemic has made them realize they are happiest when working in the office.
“Perhaps surprisingly, almost half (48%) of 18-34 year olds say this is the case,” the poll says.
Simpson said the pandemic has created differences among young Canadians.
“Nearly half [of younger Canadians] say that [the pandemic has] affected them in some way… so it creates this dichotomy for young people where half say they like the flexibility and the other half say they have experienced the adverse effects of being more isolated at home” , Simpson said.
He said the Ipsos survey does not see this level of divide between older generations.
“It’s really the youngsters who are more evenly split down the middle,” Simpson said.
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between April 14 and April 19, 2022 on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 585 Canadian workers aged 18 and over was interviewed. Quotas and weighting were used to ensure that the composition of the sample reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The accuracy of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±4.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, if all Canadian workers aged 18 and over had been surveyed. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including but not limited to coverage error and measurement error.
— with files by Anne Gaviola of Global
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