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Canadian workers are overwhelmingly interested in remote jobs and many are even willing to take pay cuts to keep them, new surveys have found, though most workers still feel the teambuilding benefits of meeting colleagues face-to-face.
Business consulting firm Robert Half surveyed workers and managers at Canadian companies on where remote work trends stand, now years into the pandemic-fuelled shift to hybrid and remote work. The results published Tuesday found 85 per cent of workers are interested in such positions and remote job postings rose over the last year, even as companies slowly bring people back to offices.
"Flexibility over where and when they work is a major priority for professionals, and companies should continue to offer employees a level of autonomy over this, to attract and retain top talent, and boost productivity and employee satisfaction," David King, senior managing director for Robert Half, Canada and South America, said in a news release.
A quarter of surveyed workers said they would take a pay cut to work remotely full-time, with marketing and creative professionals, young adults aged 18 to 25 and working parents saying they were most likely to do so.
The survey results suggested remote jobs are here to stay in some form, despite many office workplaces asking workers to return more days out of the week.
Nearly 23 per cent of new job postings in January 2023 were advertised as remote, the survey found, up from 20.6 per cent a year ago.
Even with signs that remote work is becoming a permanent fixture in Canada’s employment landscape, the majority of surveyed professionals said their work relationships benefit from in-person collaboration.
Sixty-five per cent of surveyed workers said they have more effective relationships with colleagues they have met face-to-face, and 47 per cent said they are more comfortable collaborating in person rather than virtual.
King said managers should keep the bonuses of in-person group work in mind when planning their office policies.
“Employers should consider implementing in-person with purpose policies to help cultivate these benefits where possible,” he said.
A majority of managers of hybrid teams – at 86 per cent – said in-office and remote employees have equal career advancement opportunities, but 40 per cent of remote workers said they are concerned about opportunities for promotions.