While half of Atlantic Canadians have worked from home during the pandemic, there will likely be a return to the office for many within the next three months. Half would prefer to continue working from home.

HALIFAX, October 28, 2020: In an ongoing effort to understand the impact of the global pandemic, Narrative Research reached out to its East Coast Voice online panel to assess public perceptions and behaviours related to COVID-19.  More than 1,800 Atlantic Canadians shared their point of view, and the following provides insights related to the work situations of residents.


Work-from-home has become a common phrase in the last six months, and half of working Atlantic Canadians indicate they have been working from home during the pandemic. (In addition, a small number have always done so). Working from home is less common in PEI, comparatively. Of those who have transitioned to a ‘WFH’ situation, six-in-ten expect they will be returning to work in-person in the next three months. Notably, there is a sizable degree of uncertainty about the future, as sixteen percent of those currently working from home do not know if they will be returning or not.

Employees in Newfoundland and Labrador are most likely to believe they will be returning to in-person work in the next few months (77% compared with 48% PEI, 54% NB and 59% NS).

It’s important to note that the workforce has declined since the pandemic began, as over ten percent of working residents have either permanently (4%) or temporarily (7%) lost their job and income.

For those who have maintained employment and are working from home, this change inevitably involves a lot of adaptation, and a third of those working from home indicate that they have a child under 18 at home during working hours.

Half of those in remote work situations indicate they are as productive while working from home, consistent with previous results. That said, three-in-ten feel less productive, and two-in-ten feel more productive.

Again consistent with previous results, half of those working remotely indicate they would like to continue to work from home, while a third would not.

Narrative Research, www.narrativeresearch.ca, is one of Canada’s leading public opinion and market research companies. As a non-partisan, 100% Canadian-owned research company, Narrative Research is dedicated to providing clients with state-of-the-art research and strategic consulting services. Visit EastCoastVoice.ca to join Atlantic Canada’s largest panel, and share your opinions. Follow us on Twitter at @EveryNarrative.

This survey was conducted from September 24-29, 2020, with 1,911 Atlantic Canadians, 18 years of age or older, from Narrative Research’s online panel, East Coast Voice. This sample included responses from each Atlantic province (NB: 571; NS: 914; NL: 288; PE: 138). Using data from the 2016 Census, the results were weighted by gender, age, and region to reflect these population characteristics in each province.

As a non-probability sample (i.e. a panel sample where residents have joined a panel to share their opinions), and in accordance with CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards, a margin of error is not applied. 

For more information, please contact:

Margaret Brigley, CEO, Narrative Research – 902.493.3830, mbrigley@narrativeresearch.ca


Margaret Chapman, COO, Narrative Research – 902.222.4048, mchapman@narrativeresearch.ca

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