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Albertans least afraid to return to their workplace: KPMG poll

Albertans least afraid to return to their workplace

A new KPMG Workforce Safeguarding App helps companies reopen their physical workplace safely during the pandemic

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​While almost all Albertans (90 per cent) believe COVID-19 is far from over, nearly six in 10 (57 per cent) are not afraid of returning to their physical workplace despite how contagious the virus is, finds a new poll by KPMG in Canada.

As many as 87 per cent of Albertans trust their employer to take and maintain all necessary health and safety precautions, well above the 82 per cent national average.

"While Albertans are the least afraid in Canada about returning to their workplace, they are placing a great deal of trust in their employers to manage their return and in keeping them safe," says Stavros Demetriou, a partner in KPMG's people and change management consulting practice, based in Calgary. "The pandemic is forcing every employer in the country to adopt comprehensive protocols and safety measures, and to look at new ways of staying connected to their employees."

Key Poll Highlights

  • 90 per cent of Albertans believe COVID-19 is far from over, compared to 94 per cent nationally.
  • 81 per cent worry about getting COVID-19 or transmitting it to their loved ones, versus the national average of 83 per cent.
  • 43 per cent admit they're afraid of returning to the workplace given how contagious the COVID-19 virus is.
  • That's below the national average of 54 per cent, in line with Quebec at 44 per cent, and sharply lower than neighbouring British Columbia at 60 per cent.
  • Only 44 per cent of Albertans said they don't need to go back to their workplace because their employer lets them do their job from home, compared to 51 per cent nationally.
  • 66 per cent say they don't mind returning to their physical workplace now because COVID cases are relatively low, but they think a second wave of infections this fall or winter will shut down workplaces all over again.
  • That's below the national average of 72 per cent.
  • 67 per cent would feel much or somewhat better about heading back into their physical workplace if their employer kept them updated in real-time about the level of health risk at their office and provided resources to foster their health and well-being.
  • That's above the national average of 64 per cent.
  • 56 per cent say they will refuse to return to their workplace if they don't feel safe.
  • 87 per cent trust their employer to take and maintain all the necessary health and safety precautions, compared to 82 per cent nationally.

Prefer in-person communications

The KPMG poll finds that 70 per cent of Albertans (76 per cent nationally) are satisfied with their work-from-home environment, and half (51 per cent) say they feel more productive, compared to 59 per cent nationally.

Still, they also say it's difficult to connect with their co-workers. Over half (56 per cent) – versus 59 per cent nationally – say their relationship with their co-workers is weaker in their current virtual work-from-home environment. They agree that in-person communication over any other form is preferable (75 per cent vs. 71 per cent nationally) and key to successfully building and maintaining long-term business relationships (81 per cent vs 76 per cent nationally).

Safeguarding workplaces with KPMG's new mobile app

The more employers can do to keep their workers safe, the more likely they are to drive both loyalty and productivity.

The poll findings reveal that nearly nine in 10 Albertans (89 per cent) would be more loyal to their employer or willing to give the extra effort when they know their company cares and is focused on keeping them safe. That's well above the national average of 84 per cent.

To help organizations efficiently safeguard workplaces and manage their workforce in the new reality, KPMG recently launched a new mobile app, called the KPMG Workplace Safeguarding App. The App, which does not geo-track employees and is technology agnostic, helps employers to instantly connect with their workforce wherever they are, notifying them of urgent news, required actions, office open or closed status, and the level of health risk for that office.

"Albertans are looking for tools they can trust to keep them safe in these unprecedented times," says Mr. Demetriou. "Our app helps make managing who returns to the workplace, when, and where much smoother. Because we designed it to be easy to use, employers will find that our app will help drive employee trust, engagement, and loyalty."

The App is to be used as a front-end component of broader workplace operational health and safety measures aligned to best practices and provincial standards within the COVID-19 context.

While the app can be customized, some of its key features include:

  • My Notification Centre – stay informed from any location on important news, updates, or required actions.
  • My Offices – provides employees with office open/closed status and health risk for that office.
  • My Request Centre – an intelligent travel request module that empowers employees to make informed decisions when scheduling a visit to their office location or visiting client sites locally and abroad.
  • My Personal Risk Assessment – stay up to date with public health and safety guidelines for your region and organization.
  • My Daily Check-in – a pulse-check of your teams with gamification elements to encourage participation.
  • My Wellness Resources – connect your workforce with resources to promote wellness.
  • My Dashboard – a comprehensive view of key performance indicators (KPIs) to provide management with real-time transparency on employee groups, facility readiness, and community risk levels.
  • Office Tracker – an easy-to-use menu for office managers to update the status of their local office and building, using configurable features such as personal protective equipment inventory and office cleanings.

KPMG used Methodify, an online research automation platform, to survey 1,010 Canadians between July 22 and 24.

ABOUT KPMG IN CANADA

KPMG LLP, an Audit, Tax and Advisory firm (home.kpmg/ca/en) is a limited liability partnership, established under the laws of Ontario, and the Canadian member firm of KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"). KPMG has more than 7,000 professionals/employees in over 40 locations across Canada serving private- and public-sector clients. KPMG is consistently recognized as an employer of choice and one of the best places to work in the country.

The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International, a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

For more information or to request poll tables, please contact:

Caroline Van Hasselt
National Communications & Media Relations
KPMG in Canada
(416) 777-3288
cvanhasselt@kpmg.ca

© 2020 KPMG LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.

For more detail about the structure of the KPMG global organization please visit https://home.kpmg/governance.

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