As financial firms look ahead to the end of pandemic restrictions, more than three-quarters say some employees will continue to work from home for an extended period, a survey from the Investment Industry Association of Canada says.
Almost one-third of firms said they had started reopening offices to employees who have been working off-site, while another third had “somewhat” started that process as of Nov. 25. About four in 10 firms said they had started planning to reopen.
But firms were reluctant to say when national offices would reopen to all staff. More than half of respondents said they were unsure of the timing, while most of the others were split on the timing across the four quarters next year. Another 4% said they didn’t expect to fully reopen until 2022.
Almost all firms (92%) said they plan to allow some flexibility on when employees return, rather than making it mandatory, and more than three quarters (76%) said they see some employees continuing to work from home “for an extended period.”
The survey also asked about health protocols firms plan to adopt at their offices. Most firms plan to question employees about their health and Covid-19 symptoms before employees enter the office, as well as adopting sanitation protocols, mandating the wearing of masks and limiting the number of people in certain common areas.
Almost one-in-five respondents (18%) said they planned to take employees’ temperature before they can enter the office.
The survey indicated some firms are still determining what health information they’ll ask employees and what they’ll share with others. Almost one in five firms (17%) hadn’t decided what health questions to ask employees, and almost four in 10 said they haven’t determined how to notify clients who’ve been in contact with someone with Covid-19.
In the event of a positive Covid-19 diagnosis, almost three-quarters of firms said they planned to notify employees that someone in the office has been diagnosed, while one-quarter said they would release the name of the employee diagnosed to “likely contacts.”
Read the full IIAC survey here.