February 26, 2021 – Woodbridge, ON –
2020 and now 2021 continue to be marked by one common threat – the COVID-19 pandemic. Though our update is being published here on February 26, 2021, we reference a joint statement by ILO, FAO, IFAD and WHO published on the World Health Organization website on October 13, 20201. So, we start this update with the following detail referenced in the October 13, 2020 article, as many believe much of what is contained therein continues to be valid as at the date of this post:
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic loss of human life and presents an unprecedented challenge to public health, food systems and the world of work. The economic and social disruption caused by the pandemic is devastating: tens of millions of people are at risk of falling into extreme poverty, while the number of undernourished people, currently estimated at 690 million, could increase by up to 132 million by the end of the year .
Millions of enterprises face an existential threat. Nearly half of the world’s 3.3 billion global workforce are at risk of losing their livelihoods. Informal economy workers are particularly vulnerable because the majority lack social protection and access to quality health care and have lost access to productive assets. Without the means to earn an income during lockdowns, many are unable to feed themselves and their families.
The unemployment rate in Canada for January 2021 increased to 9.4%2 and the number of Canadians working from home increased by nearly 700,000 to 5.4 million.
The pandemic was the catalyst behind driving many employees to work from home. Prior to the pandemic, data shows that over 80% of Canadians worked primarily at an external workplace. Through the pandemic, just over 25% of Canadians work primarily at an external work place with the balance now working from home/remotely.
As we globally adjust to the new work norm, many organizations are developing best practices for remote working. While just over 75% of employers expect a partial return to the work place, only 20% of employees working remotely or from home say they want to go back to their workplace full time.
It is clear we are in the midst of a material shift to our way of life. We continue to work with our clients to model and forecast what tomorrow may look like, and we continue to position our organization to be ready for what tomorrow may bring.
We wish to again thank all of our clients, suppliers, partners and employees for their continued support as we continue to navigate together through these unprecedented COVID-19 times. Be safe.