For many years, Canada’s unemployment rate had remained stable, sitting between five and six percent. Then, in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the world and the way that we work. Unemployment skyrocketed in the country to over 13 percent at its peak, and there were many companies that were trying to adapt. Those not wanting to layoff their employees while keeping production high opted to have their employees work from home if possible, and now Edmonton businesses are learning that working from home might be the future of business.

This is especially true for tech companies, and Edmonton is one of the big tech cities throughout all of Canada. Even major tech businesses such as Twitter have said that their employees will now be working from home on a permanent basis after seeing the benefits that it can have for both employees and businesses. One startup founder in Edmonton, Chad Verity, says that he is following that future.

“We took 10 years of inevitable change and shoved it into two weeks,” he said, noting that technology has allowed people to connect while still working from home, and that management has changed dramatically. Uniform policies are “the way of the past he said,” adding that “Why does it matter that we’re all in an office together?”

Several other companies in Edmonton are also opting to have their employees work from home unless they are truly needed there physically. Those that wish to still work in an office setting where it feels more normal for them or don’t have at-home capabilities, some businesses are switching to small open door offices where employees can come in whenever they want.

These companies are seeing a tremendous reduction in their overhead by not having to power large buildings and staffing people around the clock, and servers also aren’t reaching their full capacity as individuals are using their own internet. It’s one big cost saving feature that’s come at a time when companies are looking to slash costs without cutting employees.