Forty per cent of Canadians would take less pay to work from home, survey finds

Ipsos found 15 per cent of respondents have already switched jobs when required to work exclusively from the office

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Nearly two in five (36 per cent) Canadian remote or partly remote workers say they would be willing to take a lower-paying job for the option to work from home, compared to a higher-paying role that requires full-time work at the office, according to an Ipsos survey*.

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“Given unemployment rates right now, I think organizations have to be very thoughtful about the kinds of settings they offer for people working for their company,” said Terri Griffith, a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship at Simon Fraser University.

Last year, Forbes reported that companies like Google and Facebook said remote employees who live in, or relocate to geographic areas with a lower cost of living may be paid less. While employers in Canada cannot reduce an existing employee’s pay without significant legal risk, they could offer lower compensation before the person is hired. Griffith says that’s a risk “[if] another company says ‘no I’m going to pay you for the value of the work, I don’t care where you live.’ They may end up with the better employee.”

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Shawn Hewat, CEO of tech company Wavy, said she has seen many companies struggling with recruitment and retention. Providing a remote work option can be an important incentive, “if that choice is taken away, you’re going to suffer from a culture perspective and from a hiring and retention perspective.”

* These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between April 14 to 19, 2022, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 585 working Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 4.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all working Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

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