An Ernst & Young survey has found that Canadian employees have embraced workplace flexibility and want it to continue post-pandemic.

The 2021 Work Reimagined Employee Survey found that 93 per cent of respondents said they would likely remain with their organization for the next year or more if they have control over where and when they work.

But 54 per cent would be willing to quit if flexibility on schedule and work location is not maintained.

Even if top-notch, on-site office amenities are offered, two-thirds would prefer to control where and then they work with respondents being 1.4 times more likely to opt for having control over working hours.

Some 61 per cent want their company to require vaccines before returning to physical workspaces.

Nearly half say company culture has improved since the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020.

“Whether you know - and accept - it or not, your employees have been forever transformed, and walking back this sea of change isn't an option,” says Darryl Wright, partner, People Advisory Services at EY Canada.

“Employees have embraced the flexibility that tech-enabled remote working has made possible. And they don't expect it to stop in the aftermath of the pandemic. This is a critical moment for collaboration among all senior executives to reimagine a model that supports both a safe transition and physical transformation to the workplace.”

While early data suggests employees are just as productive working from home, the jury is still out on the long-term effects of working remotely, including from the loss of coaching and mentoring.