There are a few people thinking of what the post-Covid world will be like and how it will impact the way we live, work and play. As author and artist Michael Kluckner mused, in British Columbia we have flattened the curve of the pandemic not by herd immunity but by herd “community”, coming together and holding fast on physical distancing and losing our normal income and revenue streams and social life to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
But what are the next steps? There are lists on social media circulating asking what businesses and industries will be significantly different in post Covid-19 society. One that was immediately discussed was “WeWork” which offers “flexible office spaces” and a place to work with technological tools available at each site. I have written earlier about the sale of the downtown Vancouver Hudson’s Bay store which was to have half the square footage of this iconic building converted to WeWork offices.
The pandemic has taught companies (and us as employees) that we CAN work from home and using technology can check in and be productive, meaning that places like WeWork become~well, a last decade concept.
Pollster Mario Canseco with Research Co has just conducted a survey of 1,000 Canadians across the country exploring what changes this pandemic will make on how business is done.The results may surprise you~the survey showed that 73% of Canadians expect to continue to work from home. Sixty-three percent think that more companies will be nixing business travel and promoting online teleconferencing.
There’s some regionalism in the survey answers too. While 62% of people working from home right now found doing so easier than they thought it would be, almost half of those surveyed (46%) found it challenging with distractions at home. (And remember all the kids are home right now too with no school).
It may not surprise that in British Columbia home distractions are a concern for 55% of the respondents, while in Atlantic Canada only 23% were concerned.
And who misses the commute to work?
Research Co’s survey shows that half of Quebec respondents miss that commute, while 43% of British Columbians surveyed felt that way.
What do people miss about going to an office? Two-thirds of people said they missed the office interaction. But what is curious is the shift in the perception of working from home. Eighty percent of respondents said they “feel their company trusts they are doing their work from home, and almost seven-in-ten (69%) believe their company is perfectly equipped for them to carry on with their duties from home.” You can take a look at Mario Canseco’s original data set here.
With this shift, people like Frank Murphy in Nanaimo are writing their Mayors asking for Council Commissions on the Economy and Social Welfare post Covid19 to discuss restarting the economy. These commissions would focus on reconstruction and renewal of businesses, recreation and social life, buttress up the return to work and related social services, and plan ahead for a vibrant, perhaps different economy.