Montreal Chamber of Commerce urges workers to return to city's downtown office towers

A man crosses an empty street in downtown Montreal, Sunday, April 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Montreal's Chamber of Commerce is hoping that office workers will realize that when they're alone and life is making them lonely, they can always go back to work downtown.

On Wednesday, the organization released a “declaration of commitments aimed at mobilizing downtown employers and workers to return to face-to-face (working).”

The promises, which are part of the chamber's “I love to work downtown” initiative, is supported by the Quebec Economy and Innovation Ministry.

Montreal's downtown office towers have been largely empty since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. While restrictions have been loosened from the tight lockdowns experienced over the fall, winter and spring, many workers have continued to work from home. But according to Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Michel Leblanc, a recent survey conducted for the organization showed that “a majority (53 per cent) of respondents were eager to return to the office). Even more, 70 per cent said they were comfortable returning to their workplace.”

The declaration includes several promises concerning the return to office towers, namely that it will be safe, gradual and flexible.