The majority of Canadians who have been working from home are not eager to return to the work place as COVID-19 cases surge, in a Sept. 29, 2020 story. (File photo by BLACK PRESS)

Recovery plan inspires confidence but Canadians like working from home for now: Poll

Fear of a worse second wave may explain why workers want to work from home

OTTAWA — The federal government’s economic recovery plan has inspired some confidence that it will create jobs and a stronger economy in future, a new poll suggests.

But, in the meantime, the vast majority of Canadians who’ve been working from home aren’t eager to rush back to their work places as cases of COVID-19 surge across the country.

Fifty-two per cent of respondents to the survey, conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian studies, said they are very (nine per cent) or somewhat (43 per cent) confident that the recovery plan, outlined in last week’s throne speech, will create jobs and strengthen the economy in future.

Thirty-nine per cent were not very or not at all confident.

The throne speech appears to have given the governing Liberals a boost, with their support up five points over the past week, to 40 per cent of decided voters. The Conservatives had the support of 30 per cent, the NDP 17 per cent and the Greens five per cent.

In Quebec, the Bloc Québécois was slightly ahead of the Liberals, 32 per cent to 30 per cent.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also appears to have tapped into the public mood when he predicted that a second wave of COVID-19 this fall will potentially be worse than the first wave last spring, which sent the country into lockdown. Seventy-two per cent of respondents agreed with his dire assessment, offered during a televised address to the nation following the throne speech.

Fear of a worse second wave may explain why 82 per cent of respondents who’ve been working from home said they’d prefer to commute to work only when needed and continue working from home “much more often” in the coming weeks. Only four per cent said they’d prefer to return to their usual commuting schedule.

The poll suggests Canadians have also found they’re quite happy working from home.

A whopping 89 per cent said they have found working from home to be a very (48 per cent) or somewhat (41 per cent) positive experience. Just nine per cent said it’s been a somewhat or very negative experience.

And 86 per cent agreed with the statement, “I am getting used to this new lifestyle and I like it.”

Thirty-one per cent agreed that “working from home was great for a while but I now feel the need to go back to the office.” But 32 per cent said that if ordered to go back to their work places, they’d look for another job where they could work from home.

Overall, 32 per cent of respondents said they are still working from home, while 23 per cent said they’re back in their work places and another 29 per cent said they never left.

Just five per cent of respondents said they’ve lost their jobs permanently as a result of the pandemic. But another 11 per cent said they’ve experienced temporary job loss and 12 per cent said they’ve lost some income.

Fifteen per cent said they fear losing their jobs in the next few weeks.

Fully 86 per cent think a second wave of COVID-19 will sweep the country. Indeed, 62 per cent said we’ve already entered the second wave and 55 per cent predicted the worst of the crisis is yet to come.

Seventy per cent said they think it’s very (20 per cent) or somewhat (50 per cent) likely that Canada will go back into a lockdown similar to last spring. And 61 per cent said they’re very or somewhat afraid of contracting COVID-19.

Despite that grim outlook, a total of 60 per cent admitted they’ve relaxed some of the safety measures recommended by public health authorities, including physical distancing (40 per cent have relaxed), wearing a mask in indoor public places (36 per cent), frequent hand washing (35 per cent) and avoiding large gatherings (34 per cent).

The online poll of 1,514 adult Canadians was conducted Sept. 25 to 27; it cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 29, 2020.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP Superindendent Scott Tod, left, and Cpl. Bob Schultz of the Red Deer GIS drug section with a collection of drugs, cash, and guns seized in an April 2016 bust. One of the men charged was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday.
Advocate file photo
Red Deer man sentenced to 27 months for role in “dial-a-dope” operation

RCMP Priority Crimes Task Force broke up drug operation in April 2016 after four-month investigation

Red Deer RCMP say a 30-year-old man faces sexual charges against a teen. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer RCMP traffic stops lead to number of charges

Two different traffic stops conducted by Red Deer RCMP in September led… Continue reading

Boards for the neighbourhood outdoor rink near Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School are in place for the skating season. Like last year, the city will maintain 77 outdoor rinks throughout Red Deer. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Boards going up at outdoor neighbourhood rinks

City of Red Deer will alert public when rinks are ready to use

RCMP. (Black Press File Photo)
Calgary man dies in two-vehicle collision near Sylvan Lake

A semi truck collided with a SUV just east of Hwy. 781 on Hwy 11.

FILE - A Tim Hortons employee hands out coffee from a drive-through window to a customer in Mississauga, Ont., on March 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Tim Hortons to test deposit program for returnable coffee cups and packaging

Test program to start at select Toronto restaurants

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.	Kenney is isolating at home after one of his ministers tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Alberta premier isolating after minister tests positive for COVID-19

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is isolating at home

Cash and Cars lottery
Sylvan Lake woman wins major prize from Cash and Cars Lottery

Karin Plunkett of Sylvan Lake was a winner in the annual Alberta… Continue reading

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Temporary COVID-19 testing sites coming to Wetaskiwin and Ponoka

The Wetaskiwin location will open Oct. 23, 2020 and the Ponoka location will open Oct. 29.

ACC President and CEO Ken Kobly spoke to Ponoka Chamber of Commerce members over Zoom on Oct. 20. (Image: screenshot)
Alberta chambers are ‘411’ to members, government: ACC president

Changes to government supports, second wave and snap election

world affairs
British brinkmanship leaves little hope of a Brexit trade deal

The British pantomime is a traditional Christmas entertainment in which stock characters… Continue reading

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

Red Deer city council will hold a public hearing on Oct. 28 about whether to take the future expansion of Molly Banister Drive off the table. (Photo by MAMTA LULLA/Advocate staff).
Opinion: Molly Banister extension isn’t as important as quality of life

Citizen opposition to the Molly Banister Drive extension has grown since the… Continue reading

Email letters to editor@interior-news.com
I ask myself: ‘What the hell’ has happened to Red Deer?

I moved to Red Deer on Nov. 1, 2001, and I fell… Continue reading

Most Read