At the beginning of 2021, 32 per cent of Canadian employees aged 15 to 69 worked most of their hours from home, compared with four per cent in 2016 with 3.1 million Canadians working from home temporarily in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Statistics Canada.
The federal agency, in a report released Thursday, said of all new teleworkers, 90 per cent reported being at least as productive, i.e., accomplishing at least as much work per hour, at home as they were previously at their usual place of work.
“More than half (58 per cent) reported accomplishing about the same amount of work per hour, while roughly one-third (32 per cent) reported accomplishing more work per hour. The remaining 10 per cent mentioned that they accomplished less work per hour while working at home than they did previously at their usual place of work,” said StatsCan.
“The likelihood of accomplishing more work per hour varied across industries. For example, the percentage of new teleworkers who reported doing more work per hour was relatively high in public administration (41 per cent) and health care and social assistance (45 per cent). In contrast, the corresponding percentage amounted to 31 per cent in goods-producing industries.”
Large proportions of individuals who accomplish more work per hour (48 per cent) and of individuals who do less work per hour (44 per cent) reported working longer hours per day than they did in the past, said the report.
“Furthermore, virtually none of the workers who accomplish at least as much work per hour at home as they did previously now work shorter hours per day,” it said.
“Overall, 35 per cent of all new teleworkers reported working longer hours, with managers doing so in greater proportions (51 per cent). In contrast, three per cent of all new teleworkers reported working shorter hours.”
Overall, 80 per cent of new teleworkers indicated that they would like to work at least half of their hours from home once the pandemic is over, said StatsCan, adding that 41 per cent indicated that they would prefer working about half of their hours at home and the other half outside the home, while 39 per cent would prefer working most (24 per cent) or all (15 per cent) of their hours at home. The remaining 20 per cent would prefer working most (11 per cent) or all (nine per cent) of their hours outside the home, it added.