By: Greg Staley
Written On: 2021-10-01
According to Stats Canada, nearly 15% of Canadian businesses (14.7%) are planning on shrinking their office spaces as the practice of teleworking (working from home) has become more common during the COVID era.
The decision to shrink office space has undoubtedly been influenced by lockdowns, restrictions, fear among Canadians and perhaps a realization that came out of necessity, that many didn’t need to be working in an office together to accomplish their organization’s goals. As the old saying goes “necessity is the mother of invention.”
Some industries have determined that they’ll downsize their office portfolios more than others. For instance, 29.8% of Information and cultural industries plan on downsizing their office space compared to just 5.5% of businesses within the construction industry. Other industries that expect to downsize their office spaces at a rate higher than the national average include Non-profit organizations that serve businesses (24.6%), those in the Arts, entertainment and recreation field (20.8%), Professional, scientific and technical services (19.2%), Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services (18.5%), Finance and Insurance (17.1%), Accommodation and food services (17%) and Retail businesses (16.2%).
Bigger businesses are more likely to work from home
The report from Stats Canada shows that the bigger the business is, the more likely they are to shrink their office space (generally speaking) and allow for teleworking. This is of course not an exact science but instead a general indicator.
Likelihood to downsize office space by business size
1-4 employees: 13.9% of businesses this size expect to downsize office space to allow for more teleworking.
5-19 employees: 13.4% of businesses this size expect to downsize their office space to allow for more teleworking.
20-99 employees: 20.3% of businesses this size expect to downsize their office space to allow for more teleworking.
100 or more employees: 18.8% of businesses this size expect to downsize their office space to allow for more teleworking.
If you work in an urban setting, your business is more likely to downsize their office space to allow for teleworking than businesses in a rural setting (15.8% vs 7.3%).
Businesses owned by visible minorities are more likely to downsize office space for telework – The report also shows that businesses owned by visible minorities are more likely to downsize office space compared to the national average (23.8% vs 14.7%).
The industry most impacted by office downsizing in the name of telework is the export service industry with 29.2% of businesses reporting that they’d be downsizing their office space and instead they’d shift to more work from home.
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