How has COVID-19 affected remote work in Canada?

During the pandemic, Statistics Canada has been compiling data on how peoples’ work habits have shifted. We’ve been digging into this data, and in this post we’re going to share some insights and discuss how we think these trends will develop throughout the rest of 2020.

How has the % of remote work changed?

1/3 of Canadians now work remotely most of the time

Crunching the numbers, this corresponds to:

9 extra hours a week worked remotely on average.

140 million extra hours per week across Canada.

How many people are 100% remote?

The number of Canadians who work 100% remotely has more than tripled.

That’s an extra 2 million people in Canada working remotely.

How have different industries been impacted?

Unsurprisingly, IT has the greatest % of majority remote workers, but it was already one of the most remote-friendly professions, with 35% of employees majority remote prior to February 2020.

  • Education is one of the most dramatically influenced professions, with remote participation soaring 494% as schools across the country close.
  • Public administration is another sector where remote work was very rare before COVID, with only 3% of workers participating remotely. This has grown by 891% , with 36% of workers spending most of their time remote.

What’s next?

What’s less clear is how well companies are adapting to this shift. At Cholla, we’ve been talking to leaders and business partners across industries to understand the painpoints created by remote work. The overwhelming concern is that physical separation is eroding the bonds between team member.

We’re creating a platform for remote socials to meet this need, and we’d love for you to give it a spin. We’d also like to hear about your experiences of remote work and how it’s affected the teams your part of — let us know in the comments.


Further reading

Product manager & data scientist. Writing about AI, building things, and climate change.