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CCMM survey: workers in Greater Montréal express their confidence in and expectations about going back to the workplace

Montréal, June 23, 2021 ‒ The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal releases the highlights of a survey conducted in cooperation with Leger as part of the initiative "I love working downtown," supported by the Ministère de l'Économie et de l'Innovation. As part of the Return to office towers project, the Chamber is working directly with major employers downtown to resolve issues related to workers returning to the workplace, identify efforts that should be made, and gather the resources to finance efforts and communication strategies.

The Chamber surveyed workers and employers in Quebec and Montréal whose workplace is on the Island of Montréal about their view of returning to the workplace, remote working, mobility, and possible incentives to increase the appeal of working on site. Participation was high, with 1779 managers and employees responding.

A desire to return to the office

The survey reveals that the majority of respondents are eager to return to the office (53%). 70% said they were comfortable returning to the workplace. The main reasons for wanting to return to the office are to socialize (35%), to take part in collaborative discussions (25%), and to have more direct access to colleagues and superiors (15%). To encourage employees to return to the office, employers should offer a flexible schedule (75%), have days when the whole team is present (60%), and help pay public transit fares (39%).

The importance of flexibility and safety

It remains that 84% of respondents are satisfied with working from home, and 77% indicate that remote working offers a better work/life balance. In fact, 38% of them report that the time saved by not commuting is the main reason for wanting to work from home.

When asked about returning to work, workers emphasize the importance of flexibility and a gradual return. In fact, 51% of respondents prefer to be in the workplace two or three days a week, compared with 20% who would like to be there four or five days. For 75% of employees, flexible schedules would be an effective incentive to motivate them to return to the office.

Respondents also emphasize the importance of safety in the workplace. As such, 61% of workers want their employer to have a solid return-to-work plan that follows health directives. This confidence is also reflected in public transit, with 63% of respondents believing that public transit (metro, bus, train) will be safe in the coming months. However, it should be noted that modes of public transit (metro, bus, and commuter train) will all see a slight drop in use after the pandemic, as people turn to other modes of transportation (particularly cars and bikes).

Data that paves the way to the relaunch of the city and downtown

While preferring hybrid mode, workers are interested in returning to the workplace: close to 40% of respondents are inclined to go back to the office in the fall. 83% of people surveyed have confidence in their employer to guarantee a safe return to work, and 88% of respondents have confidence in the ability of their company to resume its pre-pandemic level of activity.

Data was collected for this survey from May 25 to June 7, 2021. The Chamber released the results of this survey to help employers establish their strategy for employees returning to their workplace. The results will also enable the Chamber to deploy tools and initiatives to encourage workers to return to downtown Montréal.

Consult the survey (in French only)

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 the support of the Ministère de l'Économie et de l'Innovation the objective of which is to accelerate the relaunch of downtown Montréal.

About the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM)
With a network of over 8,000 members, the CCMM is active on two fronts: being the voice of the Montréal business community and delivering specialized services to businesses and their representatives. With its finger on the pulse of current events, it acts on issues that are decisive for the prosperity of the city's businesses. With the support of the Acclr experts, the CCMM's goal is to accelerate the creation and growth of businesses of all sizes, at home and around the world.

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Source: 
Dominique Talbot
Advisor, Media Relations
Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514871-4000, ext. 4052
dtalbot@ccmm.ca

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