Nearly half of Quebecers are afraid to return to their physical workplace: poll

Aug 6 2020, 7:50 am

More than two in five Quebecers (44%) are afraid to return to the physical workplace given how contagious COVID-19 is, according to a new poll by global accounting firm KPMG.

The results found the national average fear of returning to work is 54%, with Ontarians the most concerned (64%) and Albertans the least (43%).

The poll found that 87% of Quebec respondents trust their employer to “take and maintain all of the necessary health and safety precautions.”

“Our poll findings clearly show that Quebecers are placing a great deal of trust in their employers to manage their return to the workplace and in keeping them safe,” Yvon Audette, KPMG’s chief operating officer, management consulting services, said. “The pandemic is forcing every employer in the country to adopt comprehensive protocols and safety measures, and to look at new ways of staying connected to their employees.”

At 92%, virtually all Quebecers believe the pandemic is “far from over,” and 71% of respondents said they’re worried about catching the virus or transmitting it to a loved one.

Here are some other key highlights from the poll:

  • 52% of Quebecers would feel much or somewhat better about going back to their physical workplace if their employer kept them updated in real-time about the level of health risk at the office
  • 50% of Quebecers say they will refuse to return to their workplace if they don’t feel safe enough
  • 87% of Quebecers trust their employer to make and maintain all the necessary health and safety precautions, compared to 82% nationally
  • 77% of Quebecers re satisfied with their virtual work-from-home environment
  • 59% of Quebecers say they feel more productive working from home

Nearly three-quarters (72%) – versus 59% nationally – say their relationship with their co-workers is weaker in their current working from home environment and agreed that in-person communication over any other form is preferable and “the key to successfully building and maintaining long-term business relationships.”

Almost six in ten Quebecers (56%) are worried about sharing common workspaces like meeting or lunchrooms and 44% are concerned about the ventilation at their workplace.

Wearing a mask at work and waiting in an elevator is the least of Quebecers’ concerns, according to KMPG.

More than half (53%) of Quebec respondents said they would use a smartphone app provided by their employer if it would help them avoid busy and crowded workplaces areas.

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