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Office work in the future has changed forever

Office work in the future has changed forever

September 26, 2020

Covid-19 has changed the lives of millions of Canadians who work in an office, writes Peter Watson. 

After suddenly being sent home to work remotely, people are now realizing they are far more efficient at their job. They are spending far less money commuting and they are more available for home duties, particularly with young school-age children.

As a bonus many are happier with their new life.

Statistics Canada released a study at the end of August that shed some light on the new normal. Canadians that were sent home to work at the beginning of the pandemic totalled over 3 million. Now almost three-quarters of them still work at home.

ADP Canada surveyed their workforce and found 45 per cent of them wanted to remain working at home at least three days a week.

Younger workers aged 18 to 34 believe that work has changed permanently. The new work normal will include flexible hours and working remotely.

For some, working at home was a personal preference. Those with young children in many cases found it a necessity when schools were closed.

Working remotely has required many adjustments and we can assume more adjustments will be required as we continue to learn how this can be most productive.

How do you measure work output and quality with a staff member you do not see? Understanding the ability of all workers is important for their careers individually in order for them to continue to grow.

Remember that humans are very social. The camaraderie that existed in many offices will have to be replaced in some other form.

Time spent together via a Zoom meeting should allow for continued social interaction that would normally happen face-to-face at the office. Plus, getting together periodically for work and socialization is going to be an important aspect.

The future will be different and interesting.

For many of us, there are a lot of changes ahead.

Peter Watson, of Watson Investments MBA, CFP®, R.F.P., CIM®, FCSI offers a weekly financial planning column, Dollars & Sense. He can be contacted through www.watsoninvestments.com