Is your team ready to return to the office?

Seven in 10 employees trust their leaders to make the right judgment call

Is your team ready to return to the office?

As businesses reopen their physical workplace, 66% of employees are expressing concern over having to head back to the worksite after the COVID-19 pandemic, new research shows.

In a survey of 2,000 US workers, conducted by employee experience specialist Qualtrics, two in three respondents on average said they are feeling apprehensive.

“In fact, workers of all ages – from [Baby Boomers] to Generation Z – are equally wary about returning to shared workspaces,” the researchers found.

READ MORE: How will business protocols change in a post-pandemic workplace?

Many workers are aware, however, that moving back to a shared location is inevitable:

  • 25% expect to return to the workplace this month
  • 28% expect to return in June
  • 48% expect to return in August or later

But there are certain requirements for employees to feel settled in their old work environment. Many are asking for assurance from authorities, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (63%) or World Health Organization (45%), that it is indeed safe to return.

READ MORE: COVID-19: 6 apps to monitor employee health

Respondents also recommend the following workplace safety policies to allay their fears:

  • 64% want to wear a mask to the office
  • 61% want to maintain social distancing measures at work
  • 57% want all employees to be required to wear a mask
  • 50% want employees with minor symptoms to skip coming to the office
  • 45% want a ‘no handshaking or hugging’ policy at work
  • 41% want to limit the number of attendees at in-person meetings
  • 38% want employees who return from travel to self-isolate for 14 days
  • 37% want all office-based employees and office visitors to have their temperature checked before coming in
  • 19% want non-employees banned from coming into the building

While workers are keen to suggest safety standards to the management, seven in 10 still trust their leaders to make the right judgment call.

“Workers are worried, not only about their own safety, but about the safety of their co-workers,” the study found. “They also understand that their co-workers’ health affects their own, and many want safety policies put into place before returning to work.”

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