Canadian Manufacturing

Canadians expect work from home option from their employers: poll

Annual Canada’s Internet Factbook survey shows how the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed Canadians' internet use

July 21, 2021  by CM Staff

OTTAWA — New polling data commissioned by CIRA indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought transformative, lasting change to Canadians’ use of the internet. Having been forced to work from home, many people now say they want to continue doing so. Among the many changes, more than a third of those surveyed say they would refuse jobs with employers who do not permit virtual work.

While it is no surprise that most people spent more time online in this past year, with massive increases in the use of virtual meetings and online services (half received online medical care for the first time), they don’t seem to be sick of it, as a majority say they don’t plan to unplug more often post-pandemic. At the same time, many are troubled by the risks of online harassment.

Facebook remains by far the most popular social media platform, but Canadians have decidedly mixed feelings about it. More than four in 10 Canadians feel Facebook is the most toxic social media site, and 36 per cent say it is the most addictive. Only one in 10 of the people surveyed say Facebook is the most positive site or app they use.

While giants such as Amazon have prospered, seven in 10 of the people surveyed said they prefer to shop online with Canadian retailers. As a result, small businesses in this country quickly pivoted to establish an online presence which led to a massive increase in .CA domain registrations. .CA domain names registrations jumped from 2.8 million in March 2020—when the pandemic began—to over 3.1 million registrations a year later.

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The findings are in featured CIRA’s annual Canada’s Internet Factbook and draw from a poll conducted by The Strategic Counsel.

“The pandemic challenged Canadians to adapt, to embrace technology as a way of coping with a once in a lifetime public health emergency,” said Byron Holland, president and CEO, CIRA. “Canada’s Internet Factbook shows us that it brought profound changes in attitudes and that there’s no going back. We hope our report provides helpful insight for employers, decision-makers and all of us as we transition into a post-COVID recovery.”