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60% of BC workers worked from home during COVID-19 and 84% expect they will continue some form of work from home arrangements post-pandemic

Vancouver, BC — As pandemic restrictions lessen in British Columbia and September work life approaches, a new Insights West survey shows dramatic changes are coming to the workplace and employment in the months and years ahead given the preferences of employees to continue to work from home.

A recent survey of BC workers has shown a considerable number (60%) have been working from home at least some of the time during the pandemic. The concept of working from home is not a new phenomenon, as 14% of BC workers worked from home an equal amount prior to and during the pandemic, and a further 16% worked from home before, but did so more during the pandemic. The largest group (30%) didn’t work from home at all before the pandemic but have done so during COVID-19.

Working Metro Vancouver residents (65% vs. 60% on Vancouver Island and 52% in the rest of BC), and higher income earners (67% vs. 50% of lower income earners) are more likely to have worked from home than others.

The expectation of most workers is that some continuation of work-from-home arrangements will be made once the pandemic is over. Of those who worked from home more during the pandemic, 84% expect that they will continue to work from home at least to some extent, and about half (47%) that they will work from home at least half the time. Broken down further, about 21% expect they will be able to work from home full time, 26% half-time, 20% at least one day a week from home, and 17% less often than that. Only 11% believe they will never work from home once the pandemic is over, and the final 5% are not sure.

When workers are asked their preference about working from home, many want to work from home more often than what they are expecting. Specifically, 24% would prefer to work from home full-time compared to the 21% who anticipate they will do so, and 40% would prefer to work from home half the time versus the 26% who expect to. In total, 64% would prefer to be working from home at least half-time compared to only half who anticipate they will be allowed to.

The perhaps most significant finding of our poll is the number of people who would give strong consideration to quitting their job if their employer doesn’t give them the flexibility they are expecting once the pandemic is over. One-in-five (21%) of workers who worked from home during COVID-19 and want to work from home post-pandemic will quit their jobs if their employer doesn’t allow them to work from home (8% will definitely quit and 13% will probably quit). A further 27% might or might not quit, and 17% will probably not quit. Only 29% indicate their loyalty is unconditional—they definitely will not quit based on their employer’s approach to the work-from-home model.

Broken down demographically, females (29%) are far more likely than males (13%) to quit their jobs, while older residents (55+ years of age), are least likely to quit (43% definitely will not versus 29% 35-54 years of age and 25% 18-34 years of age).

“The pandemic has had a dramatic impact over how and when we work, and the recent trend some refer to as “The Great Resignation” is clearly in play here in British Columbia with the results we are witnessing.” says Steve Mossop, President of Insights West. “Employers need to be aware of how their employees might react to changes in work from home policies, as it could inspire the largest exodus at one time that they’ve ever experienced. Work from home arrangements are a permanent fixture of the post-pandemic employment world that we all need to learn to adapt to.”

About Insights West:
Insights West is a full-service marketing research firm based in Western Canada. Since 2012, the company has conducted over one million surveys, executed 2,000 studies, and issued over 400 press releases on a variety of topics, correctly predicting the outcomes of 25 out of 26 elections and plebiscites. Insights West is a team of passionate, truth-seeking researchers who question everything to uncover the truth and what is emerging for a diverse set of clients. With an understanding of shifting markets, consumer and societal trends, and commitment to uncovering truths through a proprietary toolkit and innovative research approaches, Insights West helps organizations make better decisions.

About this Release:
Results are based on an online study conducted from June 23 to 27, 2021 among a sample of 808 BC residents. Respondents are part of Insights West’s Feedback Community, a panel of BC residents recruited from a variety of sources and backgrounds who share their views and opinions on an ongoing basis, and from other panels provided by partner providers.
The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies between totals are due to rounding. Click HERE to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Steve Mossop
Insights West