More than 500 days have passed since millions of Canadian employees were compelled to work from home due to COVID-19. While the epidemic is far from finished, some organizations are beginning to address the difficult questions of whether and if to return to work — and what work-life will look like for individuals regardless of where they do it.
One message was reflected often in replies from throughout Canada, from modest non-profits with a handful of employees to digital startups, energy businesses, and banking behemoths with tens of thousands of staff: Things will not be the same as they used to be. Desjardins has no intention of turning a switch and summoning everyone who used to work at the workplace. Instead, the firm intends to allow for a wide range of arrangements. Many individuals will return to the workplace full-time if they want to and it makes sense for them to, but some former office workers will remain at home permanently.
Others will follow the so-called hybrid approach, in which they alternate between the two. It’s a similar situation at the large banks; both TD and CIBC have stated that they want to incorporate a lot more work from home into their operations going forward. Cenovus Energy will use a hybrid approach, enabling employees to work from home up to two days per week if they wish to and the job permits it.