With the new school year approaching, the Montreal Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce (CCMM) is looking to persuade workers to return to their downtown offices at least three days a week.
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“The balance point we are aiming for is three days a week. It’s too early for that [l’atteindre] in September, but we believe it will stabilize at this level for many companies in the autumn,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the CCMM.
He would also like all employees to work part-time in the office again from the start of the school year.
“What we expect is that by the fall, we’ll be 100% people coming into the office at least once a week or two,” said Mr. Leblanc.
However, Montreal has had to undergo greater health restrictions than other metropolitan areas, which he believes explains why telecommuting time has been lengthened. Convincing workers to return downtown is a major challenge, he said.
“Workers are interested in returning, they see the disadvantages, especially the isolation that teleworking can generate. The issue of the fall will be an issue of transport fluidity,” Mr Leblanc said.
On Monday morning, the CCMM announced a $2.4 million financial contribution to support six “creative projects” that will improve downtown. These will be installed in “semi-private” and therefore publicly accessible places such as the esplanade of Place Ville-Marie.
“None of these projects alone justify three days a week. But the pleasure of being in the city center can justify coming back three or four days a week,” he hoped.
A total of 17 companies submitted an offer. The six selected projects were chosen for their traffic and impact potential, their geographic spread, their duration and, in particular, the variety of experiences offered.
Outdoor conference rooms, a river-inspired immersive journey in underground Montreal and “euphoric” murals will therefore see the light of day between autumn 2022 and spring 2023.
“We pursue the idea that private rooms should not remain dreary and flat. The Montreal creators have suggestions to make and whether we can make this meeting possible [avec les propriétaires]there will be creative projects,” said Mr. Leblanc.