Poll finds some Canadians willing to quit before returning to the office

FILE - Dark clouds pass by the Parliament buildings in Ottawa on Thursday, May 19, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Nearly half of Canadians who prefer to work from home, would look for a new job if forced back to the office after the pandemic, according to a new poll by the Angus Reid Institute.

39 per cent say they would return full time, but 25 per cent say they would go back and likely start looking for another job. Another 19 per cent say they would quit and look for a new job, with 17 per cent not sure what they would do.  Younger people and men are more likely to reconsider their employment, according to the poll.

Shachi Kurl, President of Angus Reid institute, says employers have their priorities, workers have their priorities, and what we may be seeing is a bit of a gap or disconnect between the two.

“What I would characterise this data as, is a wakeup call for employers,” Kurl said.

“I would say that the number of Canadian workers who are indicating they’d push back against being forced back to a workplace environment, is a pretty stark number.”

The Angus Reid Institute poll found 53 per cent of Canadian families had someone working from home over the past year and among those who continue to work from home, 29 per cent would like to continue doing so, 44 per cent would like a mix of home and office work, and 27 per cent would prefer to return primarily to the office.

“When we asked Canadians, who preferred working from home, what they expected to happen in the coming months, most anticipate either continuing to work from home or continuing in a hybrid situation,” Kurl said.

“This is an issue that affects a vast number, more than half of Canadian workers.”

Other findings include 71 per cent of respondents saying their productivity at home was good or great and 61 per cent say the same is true for their mental state.

Nearly half (45 per cent) say working from home was a challenge on their social life, particularly young people.