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CPHR Canada survey provides glimpse into post-COVID future

Government's fiscal plan is of ultimate importance


The major reason employees want to continue working remotely is flexibility and the ability to improve their work-life balance. (stnazkul/Adobe Stock)

What will the world of work look like post-pandemic?

According to a CPHR Canada membership survey, it is believed that social distancing, flexible work schedules, working from home and outsourcing will be the new normal in the post-pandemic world.

CPHR Canada represents 27,000 members in the HR profession across nine provinces and three territories in Canada.

The national association commissioned the survey in the fall of 2020 to understand the views of its members on the issues related to COVID-19.

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The survey, which received 1,223 responses, along with documents relating to economic responses to the pandemic by the Canadian federal and provincial governments made up the findings in Briefing Note – Economic Responses to COVID-19.

Key findings from the CPHR Canada members’ survey include:

  • concern about decreased revenues, increased cost of operations and challenges in recruiting and staffing
  • educational institutions are stressed because of decreased enrollments and challenges of imparting quality education in a virtual environment
  • the need for mental health support programs, the availability of reliable, affordable fast internet, and online training programs
  • providing 10 paid sick days to all employees, customized relief measures to specific economic sectors and eliminate artificial trade barriers among provinces for supporting domestic business.

The overall economic responses of the Canadian federal and provincial governments compare favourably with those of other developed countries, if measured both in terms of dollars spent and as a percentage of GDP, according to the survey.

But Canada has recorded the highest increase in its total debt-to-GDP ratio among all the advanced economies, reflecting massive support programs and liquidity injections by the Canadian federal and provincial governments. This may not be an enviable position as ultimately these massive debts must be reduced over time.

CPHR Canada proposes that Canada’s governments begin planning how to eventually recover from these massive debts.

With the end of the pandemic not necessarily in immediate sight (given delays in vaccine distribution, and new variants, all potentially requiring even more stimulus before any return to normal) a fiscal plan is of ultimate importance.

Going forward, there will be appreciation of HR values and renewed interest in human resources accounting, according to CPHR Canada president and CEO Anthony Ariganello.

“It is an exciting time for the HR profession,” he said. “HR has played a critical role to date in supporting both employers and employees.”

“In a post-pandemic world, HR professionals will continue to play a leadership role in building prosperous, secure, inclusive and sustainable businesses.”