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The COVID-19 pandemic has left a profound and enduring impact on the global economy, reshaping societal norms and introducing unprecedented changes to the way work is conducted.

One of the most notable changes has been the growing amount of work done remotely. The line between the “office” and “home” continues to blur, as technology provides numerous opportunities to work in this way. For the purposes of this report “remote”, “hybrid” and or “hybrid/remote” work refers to a situation in which an employee is permitted to allocate his/her weekly hours of work between an employer’s premises and his/her home.

An efficient and reliable electricity sector is imperative for Canada’s economy to achieve its potential and assure a good quality of life for its citizens. Therefore, the link between the sector’s ability to attract, recruit and retain a sufficient pool of well-trained personnel and its use of work-from- home arrangements warrants careful consideration.

This brief report, which reflects the views of human resources practitioners surveyed by EHRC, as well as official data, examines the prevalence, perceptions and consequences of hybrid/remote work performed in Canada’s electricity sector.

Many types of alternative work arrangements are available to employees in Canada to help them balance work and family obligations. They include flexible work hours; a compressed work week; part-time work; job sharing and self-funded leave, among others. Giving employees options and resources to balance their personal lives and professional obligations can reduce their stress and positively affect their engagement, commitment, and level of satisfaction at work.

An employee’s ability to take advantage of such options depends on his/her job duties, as well as an employer’s operational requirements and management philosophy.

In 2023 Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) conducted a national survey of employers in the electricity sector to garner information and perspectives on various aspects of the workforce, as well as human resources management practices.1

EHRC’s Employer Survey
In July 2023, EHRC surveyed employers in Canada’s electricity sector, as well as education and training institutions that provide the skills and training that employees require to work within it. The Employer Survey, which was completed by more than 70 organizations from every province and territory, represented more than $4 billion in total annual wages. Source: Electricity in Demand: Labour Market Insights 2023-2028

Many of the questions posed in the survey focused on the issue of hybrid/remote work arrangements. The responses to the questions, as well as relevant data from Statistics Canada, are discussed below.

1 The electricity sector is defined as occupations within the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 2211 – Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution industry group. This industry group (or “sector,” in common parlance) encompasses hundreds of different occupations involved in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity.