COVID-19 flipped work practices on their head, leading to “the new normal” – a remote work modality. As the pandemic alleviates, business executives want their employees working in-person to improve business performance. However, most professionals have been hesitant to return to the office, choosing to continue working from home at elevated levels.
Working in collaboration with Colliers Canada, this joint report seeks to highlight what work modalities and office amenities university students prefer. Additionally, the report showcases discussions between students as they debate the decision to work in-person or remotely, along with strategies organizations can use to increase in-person turnout.
In February 2022, quantitative data was collected via a 28-question survey from 369 undergraduate and law students across five Canadian universities. In December 2022, qualitative data was collected via 7x hour-long focus groups with a total of 18 McGill University students.
- A majority of students (51%) of students prefer to work in-person 3 days/week and online 2 days/week
- 52% worry that remote work will negatively impact their professional development
- 65% of students would work in-person 4 or 5 days/week if their office offered all their desired amenities (21% without)
- Free food/snacks, assigned-seating and bookable private rooms are key drivers of increased in-person turnout