BUDGET FOR IT: Returning to in-person work has financial implications


“If they can avoid coming two days a week, why not you. You don’t have to move. You don’t have to dress up”: downtown shoe shiner

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The gradual return to in-person work could be a challenge for some companies after two years of working from home, as people may have grown accustomed to saving so much money on travel, buying lunch, coffee, parking and even dry cleaning.

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“Yes definitely. You don’t have to pay for the GO train, or parking if you drive here, and lunches,” Alex Gabrini said during his first $17 shoe shine at First Canadian Place in years. .

As she shined Gabrini’s shoes, Lynn said the crowds were still thin.

“They don’t have to come back full time. That’s what my clients tell me. Offices don’t have to come back five days a week right away.

Fellow Penny Loafers Shoe Shine agrees.

“If they can avoid coming two days a week, of course, why not you. You don’t have to move. You don’t have to dress up,” Ally Abofs told the TD Center.

Businesses along the underground PATH rely on employees who once flooded downtown.

But Jenna, who runs the Prestige Studio hair salon, says only about 20% have returned.

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“The thing is, they can save a lot of money,” she said as she cut Jim Henderson’s hair.

“I don’t think it will go back to normal because the workplace has changed. People can still choose to work from home,” she said.

It meant a lot less business for her.

His shoe shine shop is closed.

“I’m not well,” she said. “I just hang on.”

Henderson mostly continued to frequent his office in Bay St. and Richmond St. during the pandemic.

“Personally, I like the office,” he said.

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But he understands why so many people are generally not ready to return to the office.

“It will cost you more, certainly. No doubt, it will cost you more.

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David Zweig, associate professor of organizational behavior and human resource management at the University of Toronto, says employees and companies will have to adapt to the new norms.

“I went into the office and thought ‘this is what commuting feels like again, paying for parking and having to wear hard pants,'” Zweig said.

“We need to be flexible as much as employers need to be flexible. And to understand that we’re not going to have the option of full remote work, where you never have to come to the office.

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Grace Cho, owner of Express Dry Cleaners, says it’s painfully obvious to her that people are saving money.

“We have an 80-90% drop in our business,” she said.

Gabrini’s office is about to begin a new phase of gradual return.

“For us, it is enough to commit at least three days a month. There is a minimum. They are very, very flexible about it,” he said.

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