As COVID-19 and its variants linger into 2022, companies are struggling with return-to-work plans. Is it time to go back into the office? Do people want to return? If so, is it safe? There are many factors to consider.
A recent survey from Wakefield & Envoy asked for insight from 1,000 people that returned to the office during the pandemic. Here’s what they found:
Nearly 90% of employees have concerns about being in the workplace and the top issues are:
- Exposure to COVID and variants
- Interaction with non-vaccinated co-workers
- Costs and time of commuting
- Limited flexibility to do personal activities
However, people are willing to return to the office in some fashion:
- 71% of employees would choose a hybrid work model. Of those, 40% prefer in-office most of the time and the 60% prefer more remote.
- 95% experienced advantages to being on-site. The most common cited were separation of work and home (46%), collaboration with coworkers (44%), and hanging out with work friends (39%).
If employees return onsite, they want better workplace experiences to make the transition easier. This includes health checks and vaccine verification (44%), contactless technology (29%), coordinating schedules with coworkers (32%), and access to virtual brainstorming sessions with remote staff for more effectiveness (25%).
Overall, the key components are flexibility and safety. Employers should focus on those factors in their return-to-work plans if they expect people back onsite.