Workspan Daily |

Most Canadians Unwilling to Return to the Office Unless It’s Deemed Safe

More than half (54%) of Canadians are afraid to return to the workplace over concerns of how contagious the COVID-19 virus is.


This is according to a survey of 1,010 Canadian workers by KPMG, which also found that 60% will refuse to go back to the office if they feel it’s not safe enough.

Their biggest concern is colleagues who might come to work sick or be asymptomatic (77%) followed by sharing common spaces such as meeting or lunch rooms (57%) and air ventilation and circulation (40%).

But, as long as the number of COVID cases remain relatively low, up to 72% of Canadians said they would be OK going back to their physical workplace, although they believe there will be a second wave of infections in the fall or winter that will shut down workplaces all over again.

Many workers (84%) said they’d be more loyal to their employer or willing to give the extra effort when they know their company cares and is focused on keeping them safe. Three in five would use an employer’s smartphone app to help them avoid busy and crowded office areas, though slightly more than a quarter (26%) expressed concern about app geo-tracking privacy.

“Canadians are placing a great deal of trust in their employers to manage their return to the workplace and in keeping them safe,” said Doron Melnick, partner and acting lead of KPMG’s people and change advisory services practice. “The pandemic is forcing every employer in the country to adopt comprehensive protocols and safety measures, and to look at new ways of staying connected to their employees.”


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