Nearly half of Canadian women would quit their jobs if working from home isn't an option: poll
Published Thursday, June 16, 2022 12:42PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 16, 2022 1:38PM EDT
Nearly half of Canadian women say they would quit their jobs if asked to return to the office full-time and an even higher percentage say they would turn down promotions in order to continue working from home, according to a new survey.
The Prosperity Project released its fifth Canadian Household Perspectives survey on Thursday, which revealed that 91 per cent of women surveyed would prefer most or part of their work to be done remotely going forward.
The online survey, which was conducted in mid-May by Pollara Strategic Insights in partnership with CIBC and Enterprise Canada, polled 800 randomly selected employed women across the country who are above 18 years-old.
The poll comes as many Canadians are returning to the office as workplaces transition back to pre-pandemic operations due to improving COVID-19 metrics and high vaccination rates.
“As organizations create post-pandemic work strategies, this research sheds light on what women are thinking and feeling about work and their careers. A majority would like the flexibility offered during the pandemic to continue, specifically the option to work remotely some of the time,” Andrea Spender, the charity’s CEO said in a statement.
In order to maintain a flexible work-life balance, nearly two-thirds of women surveyed said they would turn down promotions in order to keep working from home and 45 per cent said they are likely to quit their jobs if working from home at least part-time is not an option.
Half of the respondents believe they will be returning to working in the office, either with a hybrid model or full-time, while eight per cent said their employer no longer has an office, and 17 per cent believe they will have a choice where they want to work.
Fifty-one per cent said they are fine with their organization’s return-to-work plan, while a fifth said it is not exactly what they want but they aren’t concerned, and 18 per cent are concerned about how they will make it work.
In addition, 73 per cent of respondents said employers were more accommodating during the pandemic but 72 per cent expect employers will put a priority on in-person office work going forward.
“This research tells us some changes brought about by the pandemic were actually improvements for working women, but there’s still uncertainty about whether they’re permanent,” Pollara Senior Vice-President Lesli Martin said in a statement.
“Amid this uncertainty, many Canadian working women are understandably apprehensive about their future.”
As more women return to the office, work-life balance is a barrier for two-thirds of the women surveyed.
Fifty-two per cent of the respondents with kids under 18 said balancing their career with “being a good parent is a major barrier.”
Nearly 60 per cent feel they will have to choose between their career and their family, while 46 per cent said the pandemic has increased their responsibilities at home.
The survey has a margin of error of ± 3.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.