No one-size-fits-all approach will work — and companies that aren’t flexible will suffer
It’s been more than 500 days since millions of Canadian employees were forced to suddenly work from home because of COVID-19.
While the pandemic is far from over, some workplaces are starting to tackle the tough questions of when and whether to come back into the office again — and what work life will look like for people, no matter where they do it.
CBC News reached out to dozens of business leaders across the country for their thoughts on the return to work.
In responses from across Canada, from tiny non-profits with a handful of employees, to tech startups, energy firms and financial giants with tens of thousands of workers, one sentiment was echoed again and again: Things definitely won’t be exactly how they used to be.
“It won’t be a one-size-fits-all,” said Guy Cormier, CEO of the Montreal-based financial services giant Desjardins.
Desjardins doesn’t plan on flipping a switch and calling everyone who used to be in the office to come back in. Instead, the company plans to allow for all sorts of arrangements. Many people will come back into the office basically full time, if they want to and it makes sense to, while some former office dwellers will stay at home permanently. Others will adopt the so-called hybrid model, where they switch between the two.
“We will adapt with our staff and be sure that there’s … balance between their lives and their work,” Cormier said.