A comprehensive membership survey conducted in the fall 2020 found that the overwhelming majority of workers in telecommunications are happy to work from home during the pandemic.
“We carried out this member survey to take the pulse of workers during this sudden and dramatic shift in their working lives,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “What we learned was that in the Fall, well into the lockdowns, members felt happier to work from home, despite some of the challenges that came along with the shift.”
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, many employers have imposed work from home programs. Unifor gathered information from our members regarding our experiences working from home, including the impact of that work on our job performance, personal lives, mental and physical health, and more.
Unifor launched a cross-Canada Telecommunications Member Survey on Working from Home. All members were invited to participate in this survey, to help paint a clear picture of the effects of changing work environments in the telecommunications sector.
Key findings are available in the Report on Working from Home Survey, Telecommunications.
“This survey is a snapshot into the minds of workers during this difficult time,” said Renaud Gagné, Unifor Québec Director. “We knew already that members in telecom showed incredible flexibility and determination to deliver the best possible service, and I’m glad to know now that in many cases they actually reported less stress at work actually during that time.”
Spring 2021 will mark the one year of working from home for many workers in this Industry and Unifor intends to repeat the survey next month to see how the findings might shift over time.
Notable is the fact that multiple bargaining units who have large numbers of members working from home will head in to negotiations to renew their collective agreements before the end of 2021. The two surveys will no doubt inform the position of the bargaining committees as they prepare to discuss working from home during the talks.
Members in the telecommunications sector, have experienced high rates of workplace stress in the past, stemming from a range of causes including difficult and changing Key Performance Indicators and ranking systems.
“I’m encouraged by these survey results, because I know how important positive mental health is in all workers’ lives, and any shift for the better is cause for celebration,” continued Dias. “I know that the pandemic that still surrounds us is frightening and painful, but I am left with the encouragement that through this struggle, we are finding new ways to work.”