Canadian employees expect continued flexibility when it comes to where they work once pandemic ends: survey

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Published May 11, 2021 at 12:00 am

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Recent research indicates the pandemic has sparked a wave of innovation across consumer industries in Canada.

According to a recent survey from Accenture—a global professional services company, 95 per cent of respondents said they made at least one change to their lifestyle which they expect will become permanent.

The mass shift to working from home, prioritizing shopping locally, and adjusting travel plans have forced industries to reconsider how they cater to the pandemic-adapted consumer.

“The lasting impact of the pandemic will be felt well into the future and Canadian consumer-facing companies have learned all too well why they must be agile, resilient and responsive to change,” Jeffrey Russell, president of Accenture in Canada, said in a news release.

“Yet these trying times have also created opportunity and ignited innovation. Many companies reinventing how they do business and expanding in new growth areas—and many are using advanced analytical capabilities to identify and make the most of changing consumer trends,” he continued.

After spending a significant portion of the last 15 months working from home, many respondents expect to keep some flexibility when it comes to how and where they work moving forward.

Additionally, 69 per cent of Canadians who will likely continue working from home after the pandemic concludes said they would like to occasionally work from a “third space,” someplace besides their office and home—30 per cent said they would be willing to pay a fee out of their own pockets to work from a café, bar, hotel, or retailer with a dedicated space.

Further, 53 per cent of Canadians who frequently travel for work expect to reduce such activities moving forward.

“Travel and hospitality firms have had to be both creative and practical to find new revenue streams in order to keep the lights on over the past very challenging year,” Daniel Bunyan, managing director and travel industry lead at Accenture in Canada, said in the same release.

“We have seen hotel rooms converted into pop-up restaurants while others have created a ‘third space’ for those looking for a temporary office setting outside of their home. While there has been experimentation with innovation in select pockets, companies need to scale these new services and address travelers’ renewed focus on health and safety, for example, by using the cloud to help enable fully contactless interactions,” he continued.

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