In March 2020, Canada saw a major “office-drain,” as office workers made the sudden switch to working from home. Most were told that this would be a temporary solution to the social distancing orders and lockdown measures put in place to lower the spread of COVID-19. But just a few weeks later, COVID-19 was named a full-blown pandemic, and talk of returning to the workplace became less and less hopeful. Now, over one year later, a majority of Canadian office workers are still working from home, and there is still no timeline for a safe return to work.
Our guest this week is Jean-Nicolas Reyt. Reyt is an assistant professor of organizational behaviour at McGill University, and has studied work-from-home since 2010. Over the past year, he has had a rare opportunity for a researcher: the chance to see his theories play out in the real world.
Reyt has used “earnings calls” – calls made by CEOs to their investors – to track how Canadian and U.S. executives have been talking about working from home, how their perceptions of this style of work have changed, and what is and isn’t working. In this episode, he shares his insights about how far we’ve come, and how much farther we have to go.