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Media Release

New research finds office workers want best of both worlds in return-to-office environment

Board of Trade partners with the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board to probe c-suite and office employee perspectives on the post-pandemic workplace.

Man at computer in his home

TORONTO, February 3, 2022 – A new report released today by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) in partnership with the Toronto Region Board of Trade finds office workers want the best of both worlds through office, at-home hybrid work arrangements as we emerge from the pandemic.

While 51 per cent of workers in the region continued to work in-person through the pandemic, this has not been the experience of most office workers. Navigating the New Normal: Executive and Employee Perspectives on the Post-Pandemic Workplace, is based on interviews with executives and polling that surveyed office workers in the Toronto region on their opinions and expectations on remote work, changes in their living situation, and attitudes on a return-to-office. The report finds that even as we look towards a return to a new normal, nearly half of office workers report they miss going into work, yet over 80 per cent of workers surveyed say they’re happier working from home.

These results may seem contradictory but point toward the reality of a new office culture driven by workers who enjoy the comforts of working from home while recognizing the advantages of inperson work. Chief among these benefits is the face-to-face collaboration that office environments offer.

“As we welcome remote-working employees back to the office, we must be ready to embrace work arrangements that provide the flexibility office workers are looking for,” said Jan De Silva, President and CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade. “Employees’ desire to return to the office is welcome news for the thousands of small businesses in Downtown Toronto, who have disproportionately shouldered the burden of the pandemic due to the loss of their daytime customers. 85 per cent of downtown workers moved to work from home in 2020 and have been slow to return.”

Only one in four of those surveyed, or 26 per cent, plan to continue working remotely on a full-time basis once the pandemic ends.

“We have gained invaluable insight into the future of employment in the post-pandemic era through polling results and executive interviews. It’s clear that we will see a return to the office, but this return may be more flexible and could require adaptation on the part of employers. While increased flexibility for employees is generally seen as a positive, there are many implications for real estate, related infrastructure like transit and economic activity, including ancillary spending on retail, that will need to be considered in more detail,” said TRREB President Kevin Crigger.

About Toronto Region Board of Trade

The Toronto Region Board of Trade is one of the largest and most influential business chambers in North America and is a catalyst for the region’s economic agenda. We pursue policy change to drive the growth and competitiveness of the Toronto region and facilitate market opportunities with programs, partnerships and connections to help our members succeed – domestically and internationally.

Media Contact

Andrew Perez, Media Relations Manager