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COVID 19 working from home in the Canadian photonics industry

26-04-2021

In the Photonics West focus edition from March 6 to 11,2021 an article was published based on a recent survey of industry and academia by Matthew Peach, Editor-in-Chief. Optics.org, which revealed a mix of challenges and optimism and how the sector has adapted rapidly. The survey was done in Fall 2020 by Adam Resnick, Marketing Analyst at SPIE.

He concluded that most respondents, 64%, agreed that the pandemic has had a significant or life changing impact on their personal, professional, or academic lives with 35% feeling less impacted.

According to the survey only 4% of workers had reported leaving their jobs during the pandemic (through October 2020) with a higher percentage of women 6% versus 3% men.

Like many sectors of business, the photonics community has seen a big shift towards home working.

Prior to the pandemic, 57% of respondents reported not working remotely at all, while 22% worked remotely four or more days a week.

In an article published on April 1st,2021" Canadians working from home during pandemic report productive, longer work weeks: StatCan" by Ben CousinsCTVNews.ca Writer. In this article he reports that the StatCan study found that 90 percent of new teleworkers reported they complete just as much work, if not more work, per hour compared to their time in the workplace.

The results of the latest study echo those from recent research out of the United States that found 84.7 per cent of people working from home due to COVID-19 reported at least the same levels of productivity, with 41.2 per cent of respondents reporting increased efficiency. When it came to working hours, 35 per cent of Canadians reported working longer hours while working from home, compared to just three per cent who reported their work weeks had shortened in the pandemic.

New teleworkers also appear to enjoy working from home. The research found that 80 per cent of teleworkers would like to work at least half of their hours from home once the pandemic is over, with 15 per cent responding that they would like to work from home permanently.

According to StatCan, 32 per cent of Canadian employees aged 15 to 69 worked from home most of their schedule by the beginning of 2021. The agency's Labour Force Survey found that 3.1 million Canadians were working from home temporarily by Feb. 2021.

In the Canadian Photonics industry that is considered essential and has operated at more than 60% capacity all the time, only a few are and can work from home. For most parents, COVID-19 lead to more time spent on childcare, the effect being noticeably stronger for women than men (46% vs 31%).

Since the photonics companies in Canada are 80% SME's and with a small remote workforce, we do not expect that there will be an uptick in remote work after the end of the pandemic.

 Link: pwfocus2021.pdf (optics.org) (Page 4)

Link: Canadians working from home during pandemic report productive, longer work weeks: StatCan | CTV News