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The Shift in Work Locations Due to the Pandemic

Working from home, working at school/work, or working in hybrid mode–which do you prefer?

Image is courtesy of Unsplash.

The pandemic has presented new forms and locations of working. While you would once participate in discussions at your desk at school, you might now be doing it at your kitchen table. How has the pandemic shifted the work habits of locations of people? And after a year of tumultuous switches between in-person and online working and learning, what do people prefer?

Before the Pandemic

Prior to the strike of COVID-19, in-person was the main type of working and learning people engaged in. Face-to-face discussions, meetings in a conference room, working on a project at the library–such activities were integrated into our day-to-day lives. Furthermore, traveling from home to your location took up a good chunk of one’s routine. According to the Biz Women, prior to the pandemic, the average American spent just under an hour each day commuting to and from work, whether this is by driving, using public transportation, biking, or walking. Finally, working at a specific location other than your personal home meant interaction with other people–co-workers, students, professors, and even the person you sit beside on the subway.

During the Pandemic

Due to the multiple lockdowns we have gone through during the pandemic, our in-person reality has turned virtual. Whether it be through Zoom or Google Meet, everything from classroom lessons to office meetings has been an online reality. People have also saved time from their daily commute to put into other activities–extra work or schooling, leisure activities, chores, and more. In a recent Leger poll, in partnership with the Association for Canadian Studies, “82 percent of Canadians who worked or are still working from home during the pandemic say their experience was positive.” This alludes to the benefits posed by working at home, which include flexibility and the ability to spend more time with family and yourself. However, working from home may increase isolation for certain individuals (depending on their circumstances), as well as decrease the amount of interaction we have with people outside our own households.

After the Pandemic

With vaccine roll-outs ramping up across Canada, certain workplaces have begun to see a transition to in-person activities. But how willing are people to go back to this reality, while leaving the flexibility and comfort provided to them by their homes? According to the Leger poll, 40% of respondents would prefer a work schedule that includes a hybrid model, while 19% do not want to return to their worksite at all. On the other hand, however, 20% indicated that once permitted, they would like to return to their pre-pandemic work site. Evidently, there are pros and cons between working from home and a different location.

What’s to come next?

In the next few months as the country begins to (hopefully) open up, we will be able to see how students and adults react to going back to in-person work and school, or if institutions allow for people to stay home. Only time will tell how the pandemic has shifted the work habits and locations of people.

Through an internal poll at Race To A Cure, 56% preferred working solely at school or work, 39% would go for a hybrid model, and a mere 5% would want to work only from home. What about you, which work style and location do you prefer?

Article Author: Asima Hudani

Article Editors: Victoria Huang, Valerie Shirobokov