A new survey found that COVID-19 is driving a lasting shift in Canadians’ commuting routines with a decline by 25 per cent of respondents (84 per cent compared to 63 per cent) stating they will travel to work post lockdown, whether in their own vehicle, taking public transit or carpooling.
Representing a 13 per cent decline, slightly more than half (53 per cent) of respondents say they plan to drive to work in the future, a notable change from 61 per cent who did pre-COVID-19. When it comes to taking public transit to their jobs, the survey indicates a drop of 58 per cent (17 per cent to seven per cent) while 50 per cent fewer will carpool (six percent to three per cent).
Where Canadians work will also change. Almost three in 10 (28 per cent) of respondents say they will be working from home, a dramatic increase from nine per cent. Those over the age of 35 are more inclined to go back to work in an office (52 per cent) whereas 48 per cent of people under the age of 35 say they will be returning to their workplaces as usual.
“There’s no question COVID-19 is changing Canadians’ lives both in terms of where we work and how we plan to commute to work,” says Liam Lahey, editor, Rates.ca. “Our survey highlights that the transition to working remotely will likely impact commuting patterns for the foreseeable future.”
To help Canadians as they formalize work from home arrangements, Lahey advises: “If you are going to work from home, it’s worthwhile to check your home or condo insurance policy terms. Home insurance is not business insurance – it’s not designed to meet the specific needs of individuals who work from home. And, if you are driving less, there are things you can do to lower your auto insurance premium without reducing your coverage, such as changing your vehicle classification. If you are going to be commuting to work regularly again, make your insurer aware of that and ensure you are covered fully.”