Working From Home Isn’t Going Anywhere
While facing down the barrel of the transition from Stage 2 onto Stage 3 like the rest of the province, individuals in Toronto are wondering how long they will continue to work from home. Thousands of people across the province moved out of the offices and jobs in March when COVID-19 cases began spiking, but now more than four months later people are still working from their home offices. For some this has been a blessing, and for others not so much. But there seems to be very little change in sight, as part of Stage 3 guidelines, which most of Ontario has now entered, states that people are still "strongly encouraged" to work remotely when possible. So the pajama workday continues for now!
Given this question directly, Health Minister Christine Elliott said earlier this month that “Ontario will remain in Stage 3 until there is a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19”. This is unfortunately a very common global rhetoric, and the goal is admirable. We can’t really move forwards towards normalcy until the threat of this disease is absolutely gone. But what does that mean for our day to day lives, does that mean people should work from home until then? The Ministry of Finance, which has played a big part in creating the province’s reopening plan, told CTV News Toronto that Ontario will remain in Stage 3 for the "foreseeable future" and "believes the advice won't change" on working from home. "The advice to work from home or remotely as much as possible still stands," the ministry said. "Everyone needs to feel safe and confident about going back," he said.
Experts polled have said that one positive of the pandemic is that it’s "ripped the lid off of working from home" and has shown employers who may have been reluctant about the idea that it can work. This has fantastic and opportunistic potential to really reshape the model of the modern workforce like never before. The idea that productivity can’t exist outside of the office has been dispelled, and now more than ever workplaces are faced with allowing people to set their own hours and spaces. People need to feel safe and secure when it is time to go back to work, and that really can’t happen without a vaccine. So in the meantime, the ability to transform your workforce into one that can function at home instead of disbanding your business is fundamental to success.
This has been the defining health crisis of our lifetime, and it’s in how we rise to meet its challenges that define us. Companies are no different, and it’s the corporations who are willing to adapt and overcome these hurdles that are destined to succeed and endure.
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