June 8, 2021
TORONTO — The future of commuting to work may look very different in a post-pandemic world according to a new survey that found nearly a third of Canadians want their commute to be less than 15 minutes.
The survey, conducted by Angus Reid for the flexible workspace provider International Workplace Group (IWC), asked a sample of more than 1,509 employed Canadians who are members of the online Angus Reid Forum about their working preferences after COVID-19 restrictions lift.
According to the findings, the majority of Canadians don’t appear to be keen to return to the workplace five days a week, unless the location of their job is nearby.
Two thirds (66 per cent) of respondents said they want to work in hybrid model – splitting their time working remotely and in the workplace – or full-time at their workplace if their commute is less than 15 minutes.
When it comes to commuting, specifically, 68 per cent of participants said they desired their commute to work to be no longer than 30 minutes while 31 per cent of workers said they preferred a commute that was under 15 minutes.
Conversely, only 12 per cent of respondents said they found a commute of more than 15 minutes into the office or workplace to be appealing.
“If COVID taught us one thing about work, it’s that travelling long distances to the office is universally unpopular and commute times are expected to reduce dramatically, perhaps to an average of 15 minutes,” Wayne Berger, CEO of the Americas for IWG, said in a statement Tuesday.
According to the survey, many Canadians agreed there are a number of perks that accompany a shorter commute or hybrid model of work:
- More time to prepare healthy meals (76 per cent)
- More time to exercise (71 per cent)
- Less money spent on clothing (61 per cent)
- Greater ability to try local businesses for the first time (47 per cent)
- More time for employed parents to spend with their kids (89 per cent)
“Employees have realized that hours have been wasted commuting to an office they don’t necessarily need to be in, and businesses have seen that a hybrid model not only means happier and more engaged employees, it also offers significant cost savings,” Berger said.
In addition to shorter commute times, Canadians also appear to be eager to divide their time more evenly between the workplace and home.
The majority of survey respondents said they would prefer to either work from home all the time (22 per cent), work at an office close to home (27 per cent), or adopt a hybrid model (39 per cent).
“The past year has transformed the way organizations operate, with many employers realizing that a workforce can be highly engaged and productive while using a hybrid model of working,” Berger said.
If they’re required to return to their workplaces five days a week after the pandemic ends, 29 per cent of Canadians said they would look for another job.
This attitude was most evident among workers in the 25 to 44 age group (34 per cent) with only 25 per cent of those above the age of 55 responding they would do the same.