Remote work: a key differentiator for employers post-pandemic

Wondering if remote work is here to stay? A new survey by the Business Development Bank of Canada suggests that it’s going to be a permanent option for most employers and their employees moving forward.

The report, which is titled ‘What’s next for remote work? Views of Canadian businesses and employees’, gathered insights from over small 700 businesses and 2,000 employees in Canada. Below, we’ve summarized some of the key findings that show why remote work will be a key differentiator for employers wanting to retain and attract top talent. 

What employees are saying about the future of remote work

According to the BDC, about 48% of employees who had moved on from an employer since the start of the pandemic factored remote work into their decision. 55% of polled employees also said they’d like to continue working remotely as much or more than they do now, and about the same number of employees said remote work options will be a critical factor in accepting new job offers.

What do employees like most about working from home?

  • 84% said reduced commuting time;
  • 62% said flexible working hours;
  • and 58% said improved life balance.  

The surveyed employees did mention, however, that remote work does come with some difficulties. Those included less chance for informal interactions with a colleague (53%), more screen fatigue (45%), and not seeing colleagues at work (44%).

How employers are responding to the demand for continued remote work 

Since employees are making it clear that they prefer remote work options, employers are more eager to comply. In fact, the BDC survey found that 74% of the polled small business employers say they are offering their employees the ability to keep working remotely, even after regulators deem it safe to re-enter the workplace. 

Some employers (27%) say that remote work also helps broaden the talent pool and gives them access to potential candidates that they wouldn’t otherwise have recruited based on their location. The survey also found that the number of employers with over half their employees working remotely has doubled since the start of the pandemic, up from 21% to 42%. 

What are the advantages of remote work flexibility for employers?

  • 54% said flexible working hours;
  • 35% said improved employee retention;
  • and 34% said reduced operating costs. 

Even so, some employers believe there are also a few cons to remote work. Top of the list is its impact on communication and collaboration between co-workers (13%), its inability to accommodate all roles (11%), and the potential negative effects it has on employee productivity (9%). 

Considering how remote work can impact your employee benefits

As more employees seek positions with remote work options, top employers are paying attention and accommodating flexible working arrangements. As more of the workforce goes remote, there are different types of considerations for your employee benefits plan. This could range from what’s included within your benefits offering to how you inform people about your perks.     

If your company, like many others, is retaining work-at-home options post-pandemic, perhaps it’s time to revisit your benefits plan. Working with our team at BenefitDeck, you can make sure everything is aligned to keep your team healthy and productive, no matter where they log work time. Feel free to contact us any time for some expert advice or support. 

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