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Friday, October 22, 2021
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Workplace

Research and readings to prepare for the hybrid workforce

For many companies across Canada, the pandemic accelerated or initiated their adoption of a work-from-home model.

As the COVID-19 situation continues to fluctuate, many questions are being asked. When will it be safe to return to working in person? Do employees want to return to the office? What changes will or should employers make to accommodate employees in the post-pandemic world?

Just like working in the office offers advantages and disadvantages, so too does working from home. In some ways, a hybrid workplace model can seem like the ideal solution and is one that many employees are asking for and many employers are considering offering.

The following resources provide information on how Canadian employees and employers feel about the subject of a hybrid workforce, the benefits and drawbacks of a hybrid workplace, and considerations and tips to help company leaders establish a successful hybrid workplace for all.

Research
Canadian workforce of the future survey (PwC Canada)

In July 2020, PwC Canada worked with the Angus Reid Group to survey 1,528 employees and 505 employers across Canada to learn more about their experience with the digital workplace, the importance of a work-life balance during the pandemic and their thoughts on return-to-workplace plans. The data collected covers a variety of topics, including:

  • Employees’ preferences for working from home all the time or some of the time, organized by industry
  • Regional differences in preferences for working from home and comfort levels regarding returning to working in person
  • How employees rate their productivity working from home during the pandemic
  • Employees’ biggest work challenges during the pandemic
The future of work is hybrid – here’s what that will look like (wework)

After teaming up with Workplace Intelligence to survey 1,000 C-suite and 1,000 non-C-suite employees, wework produced an informative report covering the following aspects of a hybrid workplace model:

  • Benefits and drawbacks
  • Financial implications
  • Employee and C-suite perceptions
  • Effects on corporate real estate strategy

You can access the full report for free by signing up online.

Over three in four Canadians like the idea of a hybrid model: A workplace reboot (KPMG)

To learn more about how Canadian employees feel about the concept of a hybrid workplace model, KPMG conducted a survey in March 2021 of 2,003 Canadians who are 18 years old or older. KPMG shared its key poll findings online, including additional information on the following topics:

  • Employees’ interest in a hybrid workplace model and returning to the workplace
  • Employees’ concerns regarding safety in the workplace and how employers will handle a hybrid workplace model
  • Vaccine passports

Note: Benefits CANADA published an article exploring some of the findings of KPMG’s survey.

What’s next for remote work? Views of Canadian businesses and employees (BDC)

To answer the question “What’s next for remote work?” BDC conducted a survey of more than 700 small businesses and 2,000 Canadian workers. The resulting study covers the following topics:

  • Benefits and disadvantages of working from home (for both employees and employers)
  • What percentage of business owners intend to offer the option to work from home post-pandemic
  • How telecommuting is changing the way people move

Note: CTV put together an article with a useful summary of some of the study’s findings.

Articles
How to make the hybrid workplace fair for all (Fast Company) [Article]

This article argues that while a hybrid workplace offers flexibility and other attractive advantages, in order for it to be successful, managers must be sure to establish fairness for all. It explores the following topics:

  • What is fairness in the hybrid workplace?
  • Five questions company leaders can ask themselves to help establish fairness
  • Tips for ensuring a fair workplace
The hybrid workforce, reimagined (Human Resources Director) [Article]

This informative article suggests that there are multiple ways to design a hybrid work arrangement, and shares helpful examples from Google, Salesforce and Vodafone to show how companies can design their own hybrid workplaces.

Making the hybrid workplace fair (Harvard Business Review) [Article]

In this article exploring how a hybrid workplace model can affect power dynamics, two experts offer four strategies managers can use to help address resulting power issues.

Not just a perk for employees: How the hybrid office works out for businesses, too (Financial Post) [Article]

This article contains a brief transcript of a discussion regarding hybrid workplaces between Financial Post’s Gabriel Friedman and Doron Melnick, national leader of KPMG’s people and change practice in Canada. Melnick suggests that establishing a hybrid workplace arrangement isn’t easy but offers companies some distinct advantages if they can get it right. Their conversation also touches on the following sub-topics:

  • Challenges companies need to address in order to establish a successful hybrid workplace model
  • Factors that influence how interested someone is in working from home and working in the office
  • Workplace productivity

The full Down to Business podcast is available for free online.

There’s a perfect number of days to work from home, and it’s two (The Atlantic) [Article]

In this article, The Atlantic staff writer Amanda Mull explores the following aspects of hybrid workplaces:

  • Data regarding the ups and downs workers are experiencing in working from home during the pandemic
  • Benefits of working from home
  • Benefits of working in the office
  • Benefits of a hybrid work model
  • A brief look at how to persuade a reluctant boss to adopt a hybrid workplace model
The unintended consequences of the hybrid-work model (Forbes) [Article]

This article explores multiple challenges that can arise for both employees and employers as a result of adopting a hybrid work model, offering relevant food for thought for those looking to split their time between their home and the office.

What to consider when moving to a hybrid work model (SHRM) [Article]

This article helpfully explores numerous considerations that can help company leaders establish a successful hybrid workplace model. Topics covered include flexibility, safety, role-specific needs, personal needs, equity, technology solutions and more.

What psychological safety looks like in a hybrid workplace (Harvard Business Review) [Article]

This article focuses on one element that may be challenging to maintain in a post-pandemic hybrid workplace model: psychological safety. The article explores why psychological safety is important and provides five techniques to help managers establish and maintain psychological safety among their teams.

Why companies can’t take a “wait and see” approach to remote working (EY Canada) [Article]

This article suggests that companies that take a “wait and see” approach to remote working will face many challenges and will miss out on opportunities for growth. The article also provides company leaders with five considerations to help guide their future-of-work strategy.

Marisa Baratta is a writer and editor who lives in Ontario with her husband and their daughter. She loves writing, especially fiction that touches your heart, opens your mind, makes you laugh and inspires positive change. Her shelves are lined with short stories, poems and chapter books she wrote since she was five. She can often be found writing, reading, cooking, walking near trees or spending time with her loved ones.
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Marisa Baratta is a writer and editor who lives in Ontario with her husband and their daughter. She loves writing, especially fiction that touches your heart, opens your mind, makes you laugh and inspires positive change. Her shelves are lined with short stories, poems and chapter books she wrote since she was five. She can often be found writing, reading, cooking, walking near trees or spending time with her loved ones.
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