Gridlock Fumes and Streetcar Blues – Are You Ready To Commute Again?

Gridlock Fumes and Streetcar Blues – Are You Ready To Commute Again?

As we approach the three-year anniversary of the onset of COVID19 workplace regulations, the tides have begun to change when it comes to workplace flexibility. The days of the full week, onsite work model seem like an antiquated relic of the past. However, with health and safety protocols being lifted and the return to pre-pandemic behavior in other facets of our lives, the inevitable debate of returning to the office has become more prevalent. What will that look like in the long term? It’s not clear. It is undeniable though that pressure to return to the office and to traditional working models is growing.

Back in October of 2021, PwC made the announcement that roughly 40,000 workers would be shifting to a fully remote work model. Since then, they have remained resolute in their decision – maintaining a highly flexible (non-compulsory) hybrid work model. Other industry leaders have not remained as consistent. Just last month, a prominent Canadian public accounting firm announced that it would be returning to a mandatory three days a week in office work model – and they are not alone. Either overtly with official policy or covertly with encouragement from upper management, the push to get staff back in the office more regularly has begun.

What does that mean for you? Again, it is unclear. The rush hour gridlock is back and the TTC is overwhelmed, especially mid-week. The roads are a mess and heavy construction and lane closures seem to pop up daily in the downtown core. This may not be a problem for those with a quick 20-minute bike ride or a 15-minute walk to the office, it may even be a welcome change after so long away from their teams. Those working predominantly remote may be unpleasantly surprised when new policy requires them back in the office 3-4 days a week and the 50-minute commute (originally made once a week) now feels unmanageable. This is especially true for those who relocated during the pandemic under the assumption of continued remote work. For those facing the potential of long commute times and multiple days a week in the office, now is the time to consider new opportunities a little closer to home.

These are concerns that we are hearing more and more in 2023. If you are worried about potentially long commutes and inflexible working models it may be time for a change before the rush comes. If you are keen to advance your career, discuss the market or just interested in keeping your options open for the future, please reach out at any time at or directly at (416)-543-0855.


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