As more employers enact mandatory policies regarding in-office workdays, a new survey found that flexible work policies would impact whether the majority of Canadians remain in their current position or leave.

Cisco Canada released the findings from the second edition of its Hybrid Work Study on Thursday, conducted by Angus Reid. The survey found that 81 per cent of respondents indicated that flexible work policies would factor into their decision to stay or leave a job. 

However, 61 per cent of employers are setting a compulsory number of days for their employees to be in the office. Additionally, 54 per cent of employers surveyed plan to or already have requested employees to return to the office more frequently. 

“Canada continues to face a tight labour market, and a flexible and inclusive hybrid work model that meets people where they are and where they want to be supports recruitment, talent retention, and overall happiness and wellness,” said Shannon Leininger, the president of Cisco Canada, said in a news release Thursday. 

The results indicated that flexibility in where employees work was a top concern, only surpassed by salary. Flexibility regarding the location an employee works was considered a top priority by 23 per cent of respondents when evaluating an employer, while a higher salary was considered a top priority by 34 per cent of those surveyed. 

“The future of work is hybrid and global. Organizations that prioritize flexibility and choice as core business imperatives will reap the benefits,” Leininger said. 

In total, 79 per cent of respondents indicated hybrid work has positively affected their work-life balance. The survey also found that 47 per cent of respondents said hybrid work has had a “very positive” impact on their work-life balance, representing a 16 per cent increase from 2021 figures.


Despite the preference for flexible working options among employees, some also indicated that being away from the office could negatively affect their careers. 

The survey found that 38 per cent of workers frequently electing to be in-office said working in that setting would allow for more career growth opportunities. Additionally, 46 per cent of those choosing to be in-person said it would increase potential engagement with the corporate culture. 

Despite fears from employees regarding their career growth in hybrid work settings, employer opinions differed. In total, 49 per cent of employers thought that prospects for career growth would be equal for those in the office and those working remotely, the survey found. 

“Leaders and managers are critical to the success of hybrid work and need the proper tools and training to make it inclusive, equitable, and successful. It is incumbent on leaders to role model and define hybrid work for their teams because it is not a one-size-fits all approach,” Leininger said. 


Findings were gathered from two concurrent studies conducted by Agnostic on behalf of Cisco Canada. The first was conducted among Canadian business leaders and the other among remote and hybrid employees from Canadian businesses.

The employee study had a sample of 1,000 hybrid or mainly remote workers in Canada, conducted between Dec. 2-9, 2022. The employer study was conducted between Dec. 9-15, 2022, with a sample of 509 Canadian business owners, or senior decision makers, at organizations with at least 50 employees.