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CCMM Survey: The Return of Workers Downtown Is Accelerating

Montréal, May 6, 2022 ‒ The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal today released the highlights of its new survey on the return of workers to offices. Conducted in late March and in collaboration with Léger, the survey assessed behaviours exhibited by workers in Greater Montréal who returned to their workplaces.

This survey was conducted as part of the “I love working downtown” initiative, supported by the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation. It follows three other surveys, conducted in June, September and December 2021 respectively, that enabled the Chamber to monitor changes in practices over time.

Promising data on downtown spending

“Our survey found promising data on the return of workers to their offices. The pace exceeded our January forecasts with 68% of respondents having returned to the office at least one day per week. This performance is largely attributable to the preparations by the employers, who developed their back-to-work plans as early as last fall and who were quickly able to resume them in February. These plans were widely accepted by employees, with 73% finding them satisfactory,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal.

“This new study also corroborates results from our study released last February on the relatively limited long-term impact of work reorganization on the downtown area’s traffic and vitality. According to respondents, each worker spent on average $106 per week when working at the office, compared to the pre-pandemic amount of $111, which is great news for downtown’s commercial fabric,” added Michel Leblanc.

The return to the office is accelerating for full-time and part-time workers alike

The data from this new survey showed that the Omicron wave only temporarily affected the back-to-work process. In fact, most workers (68%) have returned to their offices on a full-time (42%) or part-time basis (26%). Of these, nearly one third (31%) even plan to return five days a week.

These figures correspond with the pace that we have seen of people returning since June 2021, which has been confirmed to be steadily increasing: 28% in June 2021, 47% in August 2021 and 61% in November 2021. Furthermore, most workers (60%) are satisfied with their employers’ efforts, which shows that companies have been implementing attractive return-to-work plans.

Enthusiasm for social and consumer activities downtown

Our survey found a sharp increase in satisfaction with downtown commercial services, with 71% of respondents saying they are satisfied, compared to 58% in November 2021. This improvement reflects general enthusiasm to resume social and consumer activities in downtown Montréal. In fact, workers expect to use many services when they go to the office: eating lunch at restaurants (73%), grabbing a coffee in the morning (50%), shopping at various stores (46%) and attending happy hour in bars (45%).

The survey also corroborated findings on work-related impacts from teleworking that were identified in our previous surveys: over one third of respondents (34%) reported losing team spirit and 32% reported feeling socially isolated due to teleworking. A quarter of them mentioned having difficulties separating their personal and professional lives in this context. These negative effects can be mitigated by adopting the hybrid mode in the return to work. One largely positive sign is that the mental health of workers remains high, both professionally (90%) and personally (89%).

Lastly, while most workers (54%) have faith in public transit measures, 29% of respondents have yet to be convinced. These workers must be reassured by a continuation of the widespread efforts already underway. The return to the office also entails a return to transportation.

Data collection for this survey took place from March 15 to March 28, 2022, and reached 727 respondents. The CCMM will continue to survey its network members on a regular basis in the coming months.


About the “I love working downtown” initiative

“I love working downtown” is an initiative of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal carried out with support from the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation. Its objective is to accelerate the relaunch of downtown Montréal.

About the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

With a network of over 8,000 members, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (“the Chamber”) is active on two fronts: being the voice of the Montréal business community and delivering specialized services to businesses and their employees. For 200 years, it has acted on issues that are decisive for the prosperity of the city’s businesses. With the support of its Acclr experts, the Chamber’s goal is to accelerate the creation and growth of businesses of all sizes, at home and around the world.




Source : 
Julien Provencher-Proulx
Consultant, Media Relations
Tel.: 514-226-0757

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Twitter : @chambremontreal
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