Canadians spend more time working from home than employees in other countries, a new study has found, and they still aren’t satisfied. The Global Survey of Working Arrangements (G-SWA), released in July by the ifo Institute, found that Canadians work an average of 1.7 days per week from home, ranking first among English-speaking countries and globally.

In comparison, employees in the U.S. work remotely for an average of 1.4 days per week, while those in the U.K. and Australia work 1.5 and 1.3 days on average respectively. Employees in other Western countries, such as Germany, France, and Italy, spend significantly less time working from home, less than a day, on average.

The survey, conducted between April and May, involved over 42,400 full-time employees from 34 countries. The respondents, aged between 20 and 64, possessed at least a high school diploma, according to the G-SWA report.

Although Canadians have the highest number of paid remote working days among all countries surveyed, it is not enough for them, the report found. “What we are seeing is that employees really value the option to work from home,” Mathias Dolls, the deputy director of the ifo Center for Macroeconomics and Surveys, said in a statement. “However, there is a gap between the number of days that employees would like to work from home and the number that their employers are planning for them.”

On average, Canadian employees desire to work from home 2.5 days per week, while their employers plan to offer only 1.8 days per week for remote work.

In the U.S., employees desire an average of 2.6 days at home per week, while their employers plan to offer 1.9 days. In the U.K., employees expect an average of 2.3 work-from-home days, but employers have offered 1.7 days. Australian businesses plan to offer 1.6 days per week for remote work, while their employees want 2.2 days per week.

The survey shows that work-from-home levels are higher in English-speaking countries compared to other regions. On average, employees in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S. work 1.4 days per week from home. In contrast, employees in seven Asian countries work remotely for an average of 0.7 days per week, while it’s 0.8 days for European countries and 0.9 days for Latin American countries and South Africa.

In Europe, Greece has the lowest frequency with 0.5 work from home days per week, while Finland, Germany, and the Netherlands have the highest values with one remote day per week. In Asia, South Korea has the fewest (0.4) while Singapore has the highest (0.9). In Latin America, weekly remote days range from 0.8 in Mexico to one in Chile.

Globally, employees aspire to work from home for an average of two days per week, while their employers plan for 1.1 days of remote work per week. The largest gap between employees’ desired number of remote days and their employers’ is found in Latin America and South Africa, with a difference of 1.3 days. The smallest gap is found in English-speaking countries, with an average difference of 0.7 days.

“Some business executives have started to reduce remote work options, aiming to bring their employees back to the traditional office environment,” the G-SWA report says.

Among the countries surveyed, 67% of employees work on-site five days per week, while 26% have hybrid arrangements where they split their work week between home and the office. Only 8% of employees work entirely from home.

The G-SWA report found that 60% of respondents think that “no commute is the top benefit of working from home.” 44% appreciate the “savings on gas and lunch costs,” while 42% value the flexibility in determining their work hours.

The primary aspects that employees appreciate when working on site are the opportunity for colleague interaction, better collaboration, and a distinction between work and private life. “Socializing with co-workers, face-to-face collaboration and clear boundaries between work and personal time are perceived as the top three benefits of working on the employer’s business premises,” the survey says.

Source: Financial Post