Remote Work Realities and the Grindr Effect

Can employees choose remote work without it being explicitly in their employment agreement?

With many Canadians having grown accustomed to working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, many now do not want to return to the office full time. Unless it is explicitly laid out in your employment agreement, employees do not have the right to choose whether they want to work remotely or come into the office. Prior to COVID-19, the expectation for the vast majority of employees was that they would attend the workplace each workday.  However, the COVID-19 pandemic created a rise of remote work, and many employees do not want to return to going back to the office every day.  In fact, a recent poll suggests that 80% of Canadians would begin looking for another job if their employer mandated that they return to the office 100% of the time.

Why did Grindr end its policy, and what were the consequences?

The dating app Grindr recently ended its remote work policy that came into effect over the pandemic. Grindr mandated that employees return to the office at least two days per week, otherwise their employment would be terminated. However, in response to this new return to work mandate, Grindr then lost almost half of its staff to resignations.

While employers have the right to mandate a return to work (unless the employee’s contract provides otherwise), employers should look at what happened with Grindr as a cautionary tale for forcing such a move. The rise of remote work is here to stay, and it has now been proven that forcing a return to work mandate may result in employees tendering their resignation to seek employment elsewhere that allows for them to work remotely.

How can both employees and employers benefit from legal advice on remote work policies?

Both employees and employers alike can benefit from legal advice to better understand their rights and obligations with regards to remote work policies and arrangements.  We at Whitten & Lublin are happy to provide insight and advice into your specific circumstances. If you are looking for employment lawyers and would like more information about what Whitten & Lublin can do for you, please contact us online or by phone at (416) 640-2667 today.