September 6, 2020
The Globe and Mail
It had long been predicted that digital technology would change the way people do their jobs, but the discussion was largely theoretical when it came to allowing employees to work remotely, instead of from the managed environment of an office.
The COVID-19 pandemic has blown up any lingering psychological barriers to this idea. The future arrived with a thud in 2020.
There is, in fact, evidence that pretty much every Canadian who can work from home has done so during the pandemic.
Statistics Canada estimates that 38.9 per cent of Canadian workers have jobs that can plausibly be done with just a telephone, a computer and an internet connection. In the last week of March, almost exactly that number of Canadians – 39.1 per cent – were teleworking.
In all, an additional 4.7 million Canadians worked from home the last week of March. This could have a huge impact on Canadian society.