Working from home and hybrid work were necessities in many industries throughout the pandemic, and numerous employers have continued to offer these options. Tourism employment provides much less opportunity for this type of work, however roles within tourism operations—finance, marketing, HR, and others—could see these arrangements become more sought after. With stiff competition for labour, comparing what is available in other economic sectors may help employers decide what might be valuable to offer as part of a total compensation package.
Statistics Canada has been tracking working from home and hybrid work since January 2022. The following highlights some of its findings as part of its monthly Labour Force Survey (population aged 15 to 69, not seasonally adjusted).
The proportion of workers who report that they usually work exclusively at home continues to fall, from 16.8% in August to 16.3% in September to 15.8% in October. This is down from 24.3% at the beginning of 2022.
However, the share of workers with hybrid arrangements—that is, who usually work partly from home and partly from a location other than home—continues to increase. Only 3.6% of workers were in hybrid arrangements in January, but this had risen to 9.0% by October—nearly 1 in 10 workers.
The largest gains in hybrid work were recorded in finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing (+14.7 percentage points to 21.7%), public administration (+11.8 percentage points to 15.8%) and professional, scientific and technical services (+10.8 percentage points to 17.9%).
In contrast, the share of hybrid work was little changed in accommodation and food services, an industry where very few workers work from home.
There is considerable variation based on location—but much of this reflects the main employers in an area. The most recent data on this comes from April, looking at Canada’s census metropolitan areas (CMAs). In that month, 45.8% of workers living in the Ontario part of the Ottawa–Gatineau CMA were working either partly or exclusively from home. Working from home was also notably high in the Quebec part of that CMA (39.4%), as well as in the Toronto (35.1%) and Québec (32.9%) CMAs. On the other hand, workers in the Abbotsford–Mission (13.9%) and Lethbridge (15.0%) CMAs were among the least likely to usually work entirely or partly from home (three-month moving averages).
These differences are partly explained by differences in the composition of employment by industry across cities. For example, 39.4% workers in the Ottawa–Gatineau CMA and 28.4% in the Toronto CMA worked in one of the three industries with the highest shares of workers working from home: professional, scientific and technical services; finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing; and public administration. In comparison, in the Abbotsford–Mission CMA these three industries accounted for 14.2% of employment, while 27.2% of workers were employed in the goods-producing sector.
Given labour market challenges around housing, transportation, child or elder care, or health concerns, considering the option to offer hybrid or even fully remote options where it is feasible may open up a wider labour pool for tourism employers—whether it’s tapping into employees seeking to transition from other industries (but wanting to hold on to current work arrangements) or looking beyond the local market to find the perfect fit for a role.
The Daily—Labour Force Survey, April 2022
The Daily—Labour Force Survey, September 2022