The CBRE argues Canadian offices have a vacancy rate of 18.1% especially in the downtown cores of major cities. This statistic continues to grow even as we move past the pandemic. Remote work has become increasingly prevalent, offering employees greater flexibility and the opportunity to work from the comfort of their own homes. As a result, the demand for traditional office spaces has diminished, leaving many commercial properties vacant.
Despite the rise of remote work, our recent market insights find there is still a considerable preference among employers for candidates who are willing to have an office presence at least three times per week. This desire stems from the belief that in-person collaboration and interaction are vital for fostering creativity, innovation, and a strong company culture.
Employers argue that face-to-face interactions in an office environment lead to better team cohesion, improved communication, and enhanced productivity. They believe that these benefits are best achieved through a combination of remote work and regular in-person office attendance.
Nevertheless, some candidates are standing their ground and choosing employers that offer a remote work option. They value the flexibility and work-life balance that remote work provides. This preference is especially prevalent among individuals who have experienced the benefits of working from home during the pandemic, such as reduced commuting time and increased time spent with family.
The good news for employers is it's easier to align candidates to company values depending if you require onsite or remote, but you lose access to talent who prefer the stay at home option. For candidates, your remote preference may limit potential opportunities, but some companies opt for remote options to attract talent and save on office space costs.
This shifting landscape of varying needs and preferences of both employers and employees seems to be sticking around longer than the pandemic, and it likely isn't going away soon. The question is should companies accommodate employees and offer more flexible remote options? Or should employees accept the burden on onsite positions.
The answer depends on the seniority and skills you possess. Our insights suggest individuals with less seniority and work experience should be more willing to accept positions that are onsite, rather than remote. This way, you demonstrate a willingness to collaborate and broaden your skills for future roles. On the other hand, more experienced individuals will always have more flexibility in choosing a company offering remote work. Typically, remote work is now a talent attraction technique. Companies competing for the top talent may win a competitive edge with a better work life balance.
While remote work will be here to stay for the foreseeable future, we suggest candidates in the early stages of their career have a willingness to be in office and companies competing for top talent to offer remote work options.