Playing now

Playing now

New Report: Canadian business leaders to put employees first in post pandemic recovery plans

Back to search results

Business people working late at computers in office

Sage recently conducted a survey of more than 800 finance leaders across Canadian small and midsize businesses, the findings of which have been released in a new report from Sage: Forward Together 2021 . The report indicates that Canadian businesses are united in their belief that employee welfare will be key to post-pandemic recovery strategies.

Employee Well-being

When asked what they are most concerned about related to their employees for the remaining 2021, business leaders identified the following challenges:

  • Burnout (47%)
  • Employees feeling safe when returning to the physical workplace (43%)
  • Adjusting to a hybrid work-from-home/work from office model (23%)
  • Low productivity (22%)

New Report: Forward Together 2021

Download the free report

From an industry perspective, not surprisingly, the public sector (including healthcare) and not-for-profit sector show significantly higher concerns about burnout (60%).

Remote work may also have made some business leaders’ concerns more acute. 55% of business leaders in organizations with employees working at 81–100% remotely are concerned about employee burnout, higher

than the 47% average.

Business leaders are responding to these various issues differently. Of those concerned about employees feeling safe to return to the workplace, 51% are already taking action. In contrast, of those concerned about employee

burnout, only 32% have taken action, with no significant differences among industry sectors.

Of those concerned about a hybrid work model, only 37% have addressed the issue, but the consumer industries are significantly more prepared, with 67% saying they have taken action to address the issue.

From the workers’ perspective, one in three (32%) employees are concerned about burnout.

23% are concerned about feeling safe when returning to the physical workplace. Only 14% of workers express concern about adjusting to a hybrid work-model, with more workers in the knowledge and professional services (22%) expressing such concern.

Arrangements for the Future Workplace

From the business leaders’ perspective, remote work is here to stay. Among businesses that currently have remote employees, a majority (76%) will continue to allow employees to work from home in various degrees within a hybrid

model. The level of flexibility is partly dictated by the nature of the industry:

  • Knowledge and professional services (85%)
  • Industrial sector and natural resources (73%)
  • Public sector and not-for-profit (72%)
  • Consumer industries (66%)

The tenure of the business also shows some variance:

  • Under 5 years (86%)
  • 6–10 years (89%)
  • 10 years or more (74%)

Business leaders in Ontario (80%) and Quebec (81%) are most readily embracing this hybrid work arrangement trend, relative to British Columbia (70%).

Business leaders are also demonstrating confidence that the hybrid work arrangement is working and also necessary. 42% cited increasing productivity and 41% cited attracting and retaining talent as the main factors for allowing employees to work from home while 34% said mitigating burnout is a factor. Workers employed at companies allowing remote work are somewhat aligned to these business leaders’ expectations, but they agree on the three priorities to a lesser degree:

  • Attract and retain talent (31%)
  • Increase productivity (27%)
  • Mitigate burnout (26%)

The three identified factors resonate most within the knowledge and professional services industries among leaders and workers alike, but diverge most in the public sector and not-for-profit.

Ask the author a question or share your advice

When you leave a comment on this article, please note that if approved, it will be publicly available and visible at the bottom of the article on this blog. Whilst your email address will not be publicly available, we will collect, store and use it, along with any other personal data you provide as part of your comment, to respond to your queries offline, provide you with customer support and send you information about our products and services as requested.  For more information on how Sage uses and looks after your personal data and the data protection rights you have, please read our Privacy Policy.

Sage Advice Logo