Skip to content

Hard core of work-from-homers won’t return to office

About one in three professionals working from home due to the pandemic would quit their job rather than return to the office full time, Robert Half survey finds
More than half want to work only part time in the office. |CBRE

About one-third of Canadian professionals currently working from home due to the pandemic would quit and look for a new job if required to be in the office full time, according to a new survey by global staffing firm Robert Half.

More than half of all employees surveyed (51 per cent) said they prefer a hybrid work arrangement, where they can divide time between the office and another location. Professionals, however, also expressed the hesitations about working from home full time, citing loss of relationships with co-workers, fewer career advanced opportunities and decreased productivity.

In addition, workers may not be ready to return to the office, without some incentives to sweeten the welcome back.  Professionals surveyed said the top ways their company can support them include allowing greater freedom to set office hours, employer-paid commuting costs, a relaxed dress code and providing childcare.

"After more than a year of uncertainty and pandemic-induced remote work, there is a growing desire among some business leaders to return to business as usual, including welcoming employees back to the office once it is considered safe," said David King, Canadian senior district president of Robert Half. "However, companies should be prepared for a potential disconnect between their ideal work structures and that of their employees."

The online survey was developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm from March 9-16, 2021. It includes responses from more than 500 workers 18 years of age or older at companies in Canada.