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Poll: Working from home shows revealing divisions

The pandemic showed that many jobs can be done by people working at home — but should they be? Most readers think not, but a closer look shows revealing divisions
Rescue cat Oreo is one of the felines who has been adopted out at Best Cat.

The pandemic showed that many jobs can be done by people working at home — but should they be?

Many people found they could get everything they need to get done for an employer perfectly well while taking a few moments for laundry, letting the plumber in and spending quality time with pets, all without the time and expense of commuting, and like it much better that way. 

On the other hand, if office work is going to be permanently unplugged from offices in the traditional sense, it raises lots of questions. What are the central areas of cities for? What can we do with all that commercial real estate, and what does it mean for companies to rent much less of it?

What are workplaces like if companies rent some space and 'hold' an office every month or so as a recurring event? Is it worth pushing people to return if many will quit? How do we shape young adults at the beginning of their careers if they don't start in a physical workplace?

As to the question of whether white-collar workers (if we can use the term for people wearing stretchy pants and sweatshirts, this being yet another perk of the home office) should simply be told to come back, you were divided in an online poll this week, with return-to-the-office somewhat in the lead:

Women were more in favour of letting things be:

There was a significant divide by educational background. The most obvious interpretation is that university graduates may be most affected by these decisions:

There is a very significant divide by age:

PC voters were much more on the return-to-the-office side:

And the relationship continues, not perfectly but recognizably, when we cross-reference views of Justin Trudeau and Pierre Poilievre:

And back-to-the-office also correlates with the more socially conservative position on a range of other issues:

Patrick Cain

About the Author: Patrick Cain

Patrick is an online writer and editor in Toronto, focused mostly on data, FOI, maps and visualizations. He has won some awards, been a beat reporter covering digital privacy and cannabis, and started an FOI case that ended in the Supreme Court
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