Remote, hybrid work creating schism as popular option unavailable to many workers

TORONTO — Employees like Matt Fairbanks are one reason the hospitality and restaurant industry is struggling to find workers, even as the pandemic rages on.

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The 34-year-old former bartender has moved from Sling Bears in Toronto to selling software to restaurants for the Saskatchewan company—which he does remotely.

“I was always a foot out of the hospitality industry and the pandemic really showed me how vulnerable work was and all this instability,” he said in an interview.

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The grieving journeys are gone, while the added flexibility has improved his work-life balance. The Fairbanks company allows employees to work outside the country for up to 90 days, take unlimited leave, and travel to or work from anywhere in Canada.

“I’ve really encouraged a lot of my friends from the restaurant industry to look at other options and change the way they live their lives as well.”

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Remote working flourished during the pandemic as…

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