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Most British Columbians cite affordability and health as reasons to keep working from home

One-third of respondents preferred a commute of no more than 15 minutes
Vancouver traffic stock
A recent national survey has found most Canadians aren’t keen on returning to the commutes they had before the coronavirus pandemic.

A national survey has found that most employed British Columbians aren’t keen on returning to the pre-pandemic rat race.

The study was conducted by Angus Reid for the International Workplace Group (IWG) among a nationally representative sample of 1,509 employed Canadians. Nationally, IWG’s survey found nearly one third of respondents would prefer a commute of no more than 15 minutes. Another 22 per cent said they would prefer to work either entirely from home while 39 per cent said they would work in a ‘hybrid’ of home and office, or from a local workspace within a 15-min commute.

Across Canada the reasons given for this shift included being able to spend more time preparing healthy meals, having more time to exercise, spending less money on clothing and trying local businesses. 

Healthier food, spending less

In B.C. the survey found one third prefer a commute of no more than 15 minutes. While just 10 per cent said they were open to a commute over 15 minutes long, the other 90 per cent's preferences featured at least some time working remotely: entirely from home (26 per cent), a ‘hybrid’ of home and office (38 per cent), or from a local workspace (26 per cent). Seemingly a big deal-breaker, 28 per cent said they would look for another job if required to work five days a week in the office.

British Columbians' reasons for answering the survey the way they did revolve around simply being able to live affordably - something top of mind for many Vancouver residents. Just over 80 per cent said a lesser commute would give them more time to prepare healthy meals and 65 per cent said it would allow them to spend less money on food and drink. 

A hybrid model of working

“The past year has transformed the way organizations operate, with many employers realizing that a workforce can be highly engaged and productive while using a hybrid model of working,” says Wayne Berger, CEO of the Americas for IWG. “If COVID taught us one thing about work, it’s that travelling long distances to the office is universally unpopular and commute times are expected to reduce dramatically, perhaps to an average of 15 minutes.”

Urban planners have long championed the idea of the inhabitants of an entire city only needing 15 minutes to get to work, notes IWG in a press release. 

“The pandemic-driven appetite for hybrid working suggests that the shift to a 15-minute commute is well underway. Britain and the United States are at the forefront of this movement, with many other countries following closely behind."

For more information on the survey and the 15-minute commute, feel free to check out IWG’s website.