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How the Pandemic Is Reshaping the Future of Work in Canada

Man on Zoom call
Man on Zoom call
Daniel Diefendorf, LiveTiles

Daniel Diefendorf

President, LiveTiles

Diana Brown Capital One Canada

Diana Brown

VP & Chief People Officer at Capital One Canada

John Scott, VMware Canada

John Scott

National Director, End User Computing & Mobility, VMware Canada

Steve Dryburg, Canada Johnson & Johnson

Steve Dryburg

Head of HR, Canada Johnson & Johnson

Future of Work Canada is a global leading meeting place for senior executives from across the entire Future of Work landscape. This month’s event will hear from experts on how the lessons of the pandemic can help employers retain a more engaged, more effective workforce.

2020 saw work upended and relocated for millions of Canadian employees. A year later, with vaccines offering a way back, industry leaders are thinking about what that work should look like in a post-pandemic world.
Digital transformation, accelerated by the crisis, will be crucial for companies that want to thrive and retain staff, says John Scott, National Director, End User Computing & Mobility, VMware Canada.

He sees digitization as ‘levelling the playing field’ in terms of inclusivity and employee experience. “Remote work has helped companies ‘hear’ all voices,” he says. “Online meetings encourage different forms of participation, which better caters to the varied ways employees choose to contribute.”

The hybrid trend

Many employers are questioning whether a full return to the office is required. Daniel Diefendorf, President at LiveTiles, says 70% of his global customer base intends to permanently offer ‘hybrid working’ arrangements, where employees split time between the office and working remotely.


“A real cause for optimism is the emergence of a much more human-centric workplace where the employee experience has become front and centre,” he says. “The challenge will be to continue to nurture and evolve company culture and engagement in this new digital workplace.”

People-first culture

Diana Brown, VP & Chief People Officer at Capital One Canada, also believes the pandemic has provided an opportunity for business leaders to recognize the importance of ‘people-first culture’ in how they attract and retain talent.

“The virtual work environment has opened the door for authenticity and vulnerability,” she says. “Leaders have the unique opportunity to showcase heart, humanity and empathy in order to help their employees thrive.”
“We are seeing an increasing trend in employees expecting organizations to support their life experiences and needs,” says Steve Dryburg, Head of HR, Canada Johnson & Johnson. “Leaders who can demonstrate they truly care for the physical, mental, social and financial health of their employees will have more engaged and productive teams.”

What’s important?

Following this period where many have re-evaluated what is really important in their lives, the changing definitions of what makes a good employer should not be taken lightly.

“The pandemic has accelerated the demand for more transparent, flexible and empathetic leadership,” adds Steve Dryburg. “Employees will be increasingly seeking leaders who successfully demonstrate this, and for organizations who become more vocal in responding to the societal or political issues that resonate with their employees.”

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