23 Canadian Working from Home Statistics [Curated in 2021]

One thing we were all hearing at the beginning of 2020 as more and more people withdrew from the offices to their homes to work and protect themselves from the COVID-19 pandemic was: 

I could really get used to this. 

Both employers and workers spent the better part of the year reexamining their priorities and old practices and deciding in favour of remote work. 

Now:

Working from home statistics help us get a better understanding of how many jobs can realistically be done from home, and it seems there are plenty. While only 10% of people worked from home in the last two decades, recent events have shown that this number can go a lot higher. 

The thing is: 

A full 40% of the workforce promptly went online in March 2020. And it looks like working from home in Canada will continue for a while longer and might never drop to the pre-pandemic levels again. 

And why should it? 

It saves money, energy, and time and improves productivity, the only downside being the somewhat low capacity for social interactions. 

With that in mind, let’s see what the stats have to say about this growing phenomenon.

Astonishing Working from Home Statistics (Editor’s Choice)

  • 38.9% of jobs in Canada can be done remotely.
  • 85.3% of the finance and insurance workforce can work from home.
  • Ontario has the highest telecommuting capacity in Canada, 41.7%.
  • Women aged 34 to 44 have the highest teleworking capacity of all age groups.
  • 25% of companies will still offer remote work after the pandemic is over.
  • Remote workers are 47% more productive.
  • Working from home potentially saves you 17 days a year in commuting.
  • Not going into the office can save you around $4000 a year.
  • Only 20% of employers still worry about remote staff productivity.

Working from Home Statistics for Canada during COVID-19 

1. Four in ten Canadians are in jobs that can be done remotely.

(Source: Statistics Canada, Toronto City News)

In general, around 38.9% of people are working in jobs that can, potentially, be conducted remotely. In March 2020, the figure went up to 39.1%, as the employers stretched the remote work concept on short notice. According to work from home in Canada 2016 stats, only 6% of Canadians worked at home at the time.

2. A total of 40% of the Canadian workforce was working from home during the lockdown.

(Source: CTV News)

Only two years prior, in 2018, less than 10% were using the option of working a couple of days a week from home. Working from home statistics for 2020 report that 40% of Canadians were remote workers during the Coronavirus pandemic.

3. The largest percentage of the labour force capable of working remotely is in Ontario, 41.7%.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

Provinces with many workers in agriculture, mining, and oil and gas extraction have a lower teleworking capacity. Such is the case with telework opportunities in Canada in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Prairies, and Prince Edward Island.

Here are the Canadian telecommuting statistics by province:

  • Ontario 41.7%
  • Quebec 38.8%
  • British Columbia 38.6%
  • New Brunswick 36.3%
  • Alberta 36%
  • Manitoba 34.3%
  • Nova Scotia 33.8%
  • Saskatchewan 33.2%
  • Prince Edward Island 31.3%
  • Newfoundland and Labrador 31.3%

4. 85.3% of people working in finance and insurance can work remotely.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

The lowest number of jobs to do from home in Canada are in agriculture, fishing, hunting, accommodation, and food services. Most work from home careers in Canada can be found in insurance, finance, and education.

The capacity for working from home in Canada, by industry:

  • Finance, insurance 85.3%
  • Educational services 84.6%
  • Professional, scientific and technical services 83.9%
  • Information, cultural industries 68.5%
  • Public administration 58.2%
  • Wholesale trade 57.3%
  • Real estate, rental and leasing 47.8%
  • Arts, entertainment, recreation 40.1%
  • Utilities 38.6%
  • Administrative and support, waste management, remediation 35.1%
  • Other services (except public administration) 31.4%
  • Health care, social assistance 28.8%
  • Transportation, warehousing 24.5%
  • Mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction 23.9%
  • Retail trade 22%
  • Manufacturing 19.1%
  • Construction 11.1%
  • Accommodation, food services 5.6%
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting 3.9%

working from home statistics

5. Men under 25 are the least likely to be able to work remotely, 17.5%.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

According to Canadian job statistics, around 46.4% of women in the labour force are in roles that can be remote, compared to 32.1% of men.

When it comes to those under 25, only 20.5% can work remotely – 23% of women and 17.5% of men. Other telecommuting categories by age look like this:

  • From 25 to 34, 40.7% of all workforce, 48.4% of women, 33.5% of men
  • From 35 to 44, 44.2% of all workforce, 52.7% of women, 36.4% of men
  • From 45 to 54, 42.9% of all workforce, 50.5% of women, 35.8% of men 
  • From 55 to 64, 38.5% of all workforce, 48.5% of women, 29.8% of men
  • From 65 and over, 39.6% of all workforce, 46.3% of women, 35.2% of men

6. 60% of Canadians with a Bachelor’s degree or higher are capable of working remotely.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

Minimum-wage and low-income workers, often those with only a high school education or less, are the ones most impacted by the pandemic, as their hours were often cut. 

Telework capacity in Canada by education:

  • Less than high school – 12.7% of all workforce, 16.8% of women, 10.3% of men
  • High school diploma – 25% of all workforce, 34.5% of women, 18% of men
  • Some postsecondary – 28.1% of all workforce, 34.3% of women, 22.2% of men
  • Trades certificate or diploma – 19.5% of all workforce, 34.7% of women, 12.8% of men
  • College diploma – 39.7% of all workforce, 46.5% of women, 31.6% of men
  • University certificate below Bachelor’s – 47% of all workforce, 51.3% of women, 41.7% of men
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher – 60% of all workforce, 60.7% of women, 59.2% of men

7. 25% of businesses are likely to give their employees the option of working remotely after the pandemic.

(Source: CTV News)

Most likely to do so are those in information and culture, 47%, followed by those in the professional, technical, and scientific sectors, 44.5%. For many Canadian companies, work from home will stick around, and some 14% even stated that they would require it.

8. Around 17% of all businesses laid off over 50% of their workers in 2020.

(Source: CTV News)

Additionally, around 40% reduced staff hours or shifts, and 28% laid off staff. In fact, business stats show some 17% of all businesses had to lay off more than half of their entire staff. The most affected sectors can’t rely on online and remote work, such as the entertainment and recreation sector (90%), followed by accommodation and food (83%).

What’s more:

Almost every business that has over 100 employees had to cut on some positions. Only 23% of companies reported making no changes.

9. 15% of Canadian businesses believe they will require more workers in the near future.

(Source: CTV News)

Around 66% believe their number of employees will stay as it is, and 15% think they will hire more workers in the coming months. According to working from home statistics for 2021, accommodation and food services believe they will soon hire again. The same goes for the manufacturing sector.

10. Only 20% of employers are still worried about the loss of productivity.

(Source: CC Partners)

Working from home productivity statistics show a considerable change in 2020 compared to the pre-pandemic when 40% of employers worried that their workers would be less productive remotely than in an office setting. Now, only one in five employers still have those concerns, company statistics confirm.

11. 75% of workers are satisfied with their remote work setting.

(Source: CC Partners)

When it comes to the workspace, tech, and work materials, the remote workers seem pleased with their pandemic remote work arrangement. Working from home statistics state that only around 25% of people report having some challenges communicating with clients and colleagues.

But it’s not all good news:

Work life balance statistics show some 36% say they feel socially isolated and struggle to balance private and work life. However, feelings of isolation might be skewed by lockdowns. So, the numbers would not necessarily be the same if people had the chance to socialise outside work.

Finally, around 32% report putting in longer hours while working at home.

12. Almost half of Canadians would like to work remotely more.

(Source: CBC)

Up to 45% of Canadians would like to work remotely three days a week or more, while 15% would like to work from home once or twice a week.

Around 44% of younger people, those between 18 and 34, think work arrangements will become more flexible and move towards remote employment over the next five years. 

Check this out:

Some 28% even believe almost everyone will be working from home by then! How about that?


Fun Facts about Working from Home 

13. 75% of respondents report maintaining or improving productivity levels. 

(Source: BCG, Apollo Technical)

In a study conducted in the US, Germany and India, three-quarters of employees said they believe they have improved or maintained productivity when it comes to individual tasks. Administrative tasks, analysing data and writing presentations have not suffered at all due to the switching to remote work.

On the other hand:

Collaborative tasks didn’t do so well, but 51% of respondents still said productivity levels were slightly higher. People working in home office jobs are 47% more productive. In fact, they spend ten minutes less being unproductive during the course of the day and work one more day a week.

14. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the most productive days of the remote work week.

(Source: Forbes)

Remote workers usually start their day at 8:32 AM and finish at 5:38 PM. Click To Tweet

The middle of the week is the most productive time, as Monday and Friday are still feeling and already anticipating the weekend vibes, respectively. 

Tuesday through Thursday, telephone calls are up by a whopping 230%, CRM activity by 176%, emails by 57%, and chat activity by 9%.

15. 37% of remote workers think properly timed breaks increase productivity.

(Source: Apollo Technical)

Regular breaks are vital to being productive at jobs working from home. Around 37% of people believe having snacks, water, toilet breaks, or just getting some fresh air is very important and makes them more productive.

Here’s the deal:

The average time remote workers spend on break is 22 minutes spread throughout the day.

Now:

One good practice has proven to be setting a timer for a certain period that you know you can work focused. For instance, if you can be productive for 30 minutes before your attention drops, have small breaks to stand up or stretch. Then, continue for another 30 minutes.

16. 57% of online workers are satisfied with their job.

(Source: Flex Jobs)

Job satisfaction statistics show remote workers reported a Workforce Happiness Index of 75 out of 100, while those in the office were at 71. Around 57% of remote employees say they are satisfied with their jobs, while that is the case for 50% of office workers.

Key takeaway:

Remote workers are happier than their counterparts in the office.

17. 86% of employees prefer to work alone.

(Source: Apollo Technical)

When they’re trying to be as productive as possible, most people like to be on their own. So, it should come as no surprise that up to 86% said they’d rather work alone.

Still, 70% of people believe work relationships are just as crucial as finishing the job, and the remote setup hampers this.

18. 81% of workers say working remotely would positively impact their loyalty to the company.

(Source: Flexjobs Canada)

Around 27% of the workforce say they would willingly take a 10% to 20% pay cut if it meant working remotely. Further, up to 81% reported that the option to work from home would make them more loyal to the company. 

19. Office workers tend to avoid work by 15% more.

(Source: Apollo Technical, Furst Person)

Those working from home spend considerably less time avoiding work than office workers. Overall, they take more breaks but also work 1.4 days more each month. This amounts to as many as 16.8 extra days a year. 

That’s over three weeks!

Let that sink in for a minute…

Now:

Remote workers spend 30 minutes less talking to their co-workers about topics that are not work-related and around 7% less time talking to their managers.

20. Remote workers exercise 30 minutes more per week.

(Source: Apollo Technical)

Whether it’s the time saved on commuting, or the need to get out, those working from home work out half an hour longer per week than people that go to the office. Even the energy saved by not rushing to and from work can give you enough of a boost for those couple of extra minutes on the treadmill.

21. Not commuting to work can save up to 17 days a year. 

(Source: Apollo Technical)

One of the major perks of working from home is avoiding the commute. Claiming back what many people feel is the scourge of their lives feels liberating. And the amount of time that can be put to better use is truly staggering. 

The benefits of working from home statistics are clear: 

Not having to commute saves up to 8.5 hours a week; for a whole year, that figure is 408 hours. Click To Tweet

22. Four out of five remote workers say they can’t unwind and shut off come evening.

(Source: Forbes)

Mental health days became a necessity during the pandemic for over 50% of respondents since they started working from home in 2020, COVID world stats show.

What’s more:

Up to 97% responded using their vacation days was necessary for recharging, which is the same as mental health day. The need for a recharge is clear when as many as 50%  of people say their sleep pattern is disturbed by the stress related to working from home during COVID 19.

Working from home statistics show some 45% of remote workers reported feeling their mental health suffered while working from home. 

23. The US government saved $32 million in Washington alone during just four snow days of remote work for federal employees in 2014.

(Source: Furst Person)

The money saved on remote workers is an important thing to consider. Up to $11,000 can be saved per one person working from home half time. Additionally, the employee saves over $4,000 on gas, food, car repair, and commute.

According to working from home statistics for 2019, the US Department of Justice saved $5.5 million, and the General Services Administration saved $30.6 million.


In Conclusion

The circumstances surrounding lockdowns and social distancing made even the most sceptic employers have a go at teleworking. Pressed by a lack of other options, many revised their opinions about how productive their employees are when they’re not in the office. Some even discovered that more work gets done when there’s less office chat by the coffee machine or water cooler.

The downside is that the announced working from home salary changes may influence people’s opinions. There are some indications that employers will offer lower pay to remote workers in the future. This change comes from a perceived lowered need for transport money or the cost of living in the employee’s area.

What’s more:

Working from home statistics show it is unclear how working from home affects the overall quality of life. 

The pre-pandemic results highlight all the good sides of the practice, but last year’s stats show a decline in remote workers’ mental health. But this situation can, in all fairness, be attributed to COVID-19 and not the home office setup per se. 

Still, the jury is still out, and only the data gathered over the next couple of years will paint an accurate picture of working from home in Canada. Watch this space.

FAQ

How to work from home in Canada?

Four in ten jobs in Canada can be done remotely. Statistically, the more educated you are, the higher your chances of working from home. While in the last 20 years the focus was on freelancing, English teaching, being a virtual assistant, or things like filling out online surveys, now there are plenty of remote trending jobs in all fields. Whether you plan to work from home part time in Canada or go home office full time, all job boards will offer you a “remote” search filter, and the number of such listings is going nowhere but up.

Are employees of the Canadian government working remotely due to COVID-19?

According to the Government of Canada website, as of March 2021, all Canadian government employees at all work sites are advised to work remotely if possible. On-site work should be considered by managers “only if the work meets the definition of critical service” or remote work is not feasible.

Are teleworkers more productive?

Yes, teleworkers are more productive, by as much as 47%. They spend 15% less time avoiding work and have 10 minutes less unproductive time a day than in-office workers. Remote workers also talk to colleagues and managers significantly less than those in the classic workplace, especially when it comes to non-work related topics. They also report greater loyalty to the company and higher job satisfaction.

What is the future of remote working?

 

The future of remote working is a hybrid of full-time work from home and office work, where employees will be able to choose or be assigned the number of days they can or should spend working remotely. According to working from home statistics, two of the most frequently mentioned models are working remotely for three out of five workdays or two out of five.

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