More Canadians are seeing the benefits of a hybrid work model and say they’re enjoying the collaboration and social benefits of time spent with colleagues in the office, as economic concerns appear to overtake the great resignation trend, says a new report from Aviva Canada.
The 2023 Aviva How We Live Report shows that fewer Canadians are now working from home permanently (19%) than was the case in 2022 (27%), while more people are working hybrid a few days each week, at 29 per cent currently compared to 25 per cent a year ago. Also, more Canadians say they are appreciating the ability to balance work and home priorities without compromising work culture.
“It’s great to see the social benefits of hybrid work bringing enthusiasm back to office days, but it’s still very much a world of contradiction as people try to embrace the social benefits while managing commuting frustrations and their growing concern over the impact of the current economic outlook. Cost of living and inflation worry is a sentiment widely expressed throughout this year’s report, reflecting how economic doubts have lingered post Covid, impacting Canadian decisions from housing to activities to leisure activities and even their decision to perhaps remain in their current roles,” said Susan Penwarden, Managing Director, Personal Lines, at Aviva Canada.
The report found:
- 25% said Canadians enjoy the collaborative environment of the office;
- 21% agreed they favour the social atmosphere of their offices;
- 15% said they were able to juggle work and home priorities more easily because of greater flexibility, up from 9% who felt that way in 2022;
- 18% of Canadians say they are stressed about inflation and a possible recession
- 13% are concerned about layoffs and economic conditions;
- 13% are worried that poor economic conditions could impact their pay raises or promotions; and
- 13% are concerned about their ability to find a new job should they lose their current one.
Here’s Aviva’s look at the top findings from the report:
1. Sustainability and Climate Change
- In a year when Canadians are experiencing a record number of forest fires, the report found that almost one-in-five Canadian households (19%) are prepared to make major renovations to their homes within the next 5-10 years to better protect their families from the effects of severe weather events such as wildfires, floods, hail, or tornadoes.
- Still, progress towards better protecting Canadians from severe climate-related weather events is slow, with 46% of Canadians saying they may or may not consider making such renovations.
- Among home buyers, knowing what climate risks they may face is important. The report found that one-in-four Canadians (24%) asked their insurance representative or insurance company about flood zone risks before choosing their current home; while among younger Canadians ages 18-34, one-in-three asked this climate-related question.
2. Property Trends and Homeowner Aspirations
- Canadian renters are experiencing affordability issues, with 61% having seen rent increases since 2021. For almost one-in-five Canadian renters, that increase in monthly rent has exceeded 5%.
- When it comes to home ownership aspirations, one-in-four (24%) of respondents said they planned to buy a new home and were able to do so, an increase over 9% last year
- The report also showed that 16% of Canadians were planning to buy a home in the past year but were unable to do so. That number jumps to 27% for Canadians aged 18-34, reflecting the high interest rate environment and stringent new mortgage qualification rules that have caused younger buyers to face new challenges entering the home ownership market.
- Tying together increased economic concerns and perhaps, reduced spending for pricey vacations, Canadians said they also planned to spend more than they indicated in 2022 for backyard renovation costs such as pools, reflecting recent ‘staycation’ trends.
- Despite concerns Canadians express about rising costs and their frustrations with commuting, they still overwhelmingly (88%) prefer using their own private modes of transportation (cars, SUVs, trucks, and motorcycles), an increase from 82% in last year’s Aviva report.
- The 2023 report finds that public transportation and ride sharing services have all increased in usage:
- Taxis and ride sharing services increased to 20%, from 13% last year
- subway use in the GTA rose to 15% from 11% a year ago
- The use of trains increased to 12% versus 8% in 2022
- Canadians are extremely concerned (59%) about inflation on gas prices and the cost of unexpected vehicle repairs (42%) over the next 12 months
- A cost-saving transportation option that is increasingly popular among Canadians are vehicle telematics programs, which can deliver premium reductions for safe drivers. A higher percentage of Canadians (39%, up from 32% last year) are aware of telematics and are expressing the likelihood of using them in the future to help save on insurance premiums
Mario Toneguzzi is Managing Editor of Canada’s Podcast. He has more than 40 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He was named in 2021 as one of the Top 10 Business Journalists in the World by PR News – the only Canadian to make the list)
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