Niagara companies, for which remote working became a lifeline when the pandemic made it impossible or very difficult for employees to go to the office to work from nine to five, would be advisable to keep remote and cross-border work as permanent To incorporate part of their business, recreate search suggestions.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC Canada) on Wednesday released a new research report on the phenomenon on behalf of the Canadian Payroll Association, stating that many companies are facing the critical challenge of recruiting and retaining skilled employees.

Many Niagara businesses, such as restaurants and even plastic factories, say they are struggling to attract workers after 20 months of stoppages, shutdowns, and COVID-19 restrictions.

PwC said remote working, which allowed many companies to continue working during the pandemic, should now be viewed by economic and government leaders as a key element of any business growth strategy in a post-pandemic economy. This applies in particular to sectors in which qualified workers are even more difficult to find, such as the technology and financial services sectors, according to the company.

“We have now seen that companies with remote workers can function and thrive,” said Michael Dobner, national director of economics and politics at PwC Canada, in a press release.

“The option of remote and cross-border work as an integral part of the future HR strategy has the potential to open up new talent pools – both within Canada and internationally – and to make access to work more equitable,” he said.

Dolores Fabiano, executive director of southern Niagara chambers of commerce, including Niagara Falls, Greater Fort Erie, Port-Colborne Wainfleet and Welland-Pelham, said many local businesses are desperate for workers.

“We hear from many members across all sectors that this is their # 1 challenge right now,” she said. “This affects their ability to maintain the current level of service and / or hinders their ability to grow and expand.”

She said the shortage is in all sectors. For restaurants and the hospitality industry, many workers have actually left the sector after the long lockdowns and taken on jobs in other areas, meaning restaurants that had well-trained staff before the pandemic may now find themselves in a very different situation.

The decision to make cross-border and cross-border work a permanent part of their business requires significant and additional administrative work by employees and their payroll teams, but the cost of not having cross-border and cross-border work arrangements will likely outweigh any additional administrative costs, PwC Canada said.

Peter Tzanetakis, president of the Canadian Payroll Association, said teleworking is “a topic of growing concern for every employer in Canada”.

PwC said Canada’s labor shortage had reached “alarming new heights” in recent months, with job vacancies rising 22 percent from May to June alone.

The company said Canadians were three times more likely to quit their jobs in June due to dissatisfaction than it was a year ago.

Fabiano said employers need to change the way they think about retaining and attracting talent. “To believe that things will go back to what they were before the pandemic is unrealistic,” she said. “(Employers) need to create job opportunities that are a little different and flexibility will be key.”

The new report states that working remotely and working across borders gives employers access to a broader and more diverse talent issue and helps retain and retain existing employees, as flexible work arrangements are more “must-have” than ever. to be considered for employees.

The study authors said that as the adoption of cross-border work increases, Canadian workers will have access to more job opportunities without uprooting their families.

Fabiano said workplaces need to ensure that employees can share, collaborate and create, whether they work from home or the office.