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Working from Home Continues as a Hot Topic

Working from Home Continues as a Hot Topic

May 5, 2023

The working from home debate is again a hot topic of discussion, writes Peter Watson.

One of the major issues in negotiations of striking public sector workers was the ability to work from home. Working remotely has many advantages for both workers, employers, and our country.

Workers can save commuting costs including gas, and perhaps the need to own a car or a second family car. Commuting times can amount to several hours to and from work. That time could be used more productively for both work and pleasure.

Parents could have flexibility to coordinate work tasks with their parenting responsibilities. This would be a major benefit to women who often assume a major role with children.

Employers could attract more potential workers that are unable or not interested in commuting to their place of employment.

Employers would likely have to be more specific with job descriptions and how to measure work output. Good work output is not how busy you are but how productive.

Those hoping to advance their career will welcome more sophisticated work measurements to demonstrate their ability and therefore their reason for career advancement.

Employers could have the ability to reduce labour costs. The further you live from Toronto the lower your living costs. A worker several hours from Toronto could agree to work for a lower income but financially be much better off because of reduced housing costs.

Canada wins because commuting to work does not produce economic benefit. Our roads and public transit are too crowded, and less money will have to be spent improving infrastructure by reducing the number of commuters.

One of the positive outcomes of the pandemic was the instant need to request staff to work remotely. This turned into a human resources experiment.

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