What Makes Employees Feel Safer Returning to the Office?

By Julie Neal, Corporate Communications and PR Specialist for Express Employment Professionals International Headquarters

With “Now Hiring” signs on every corner, businesses are desperate for workers, and this is the prime time to go after that dream job or level up in your career. However, with the recent spike in the Delta variant of COVID-19, it’s understandable if you’re a bit hesitant about taking a job where you will be working closely with colleagues.

 

Many businesses pivoted to remote work in March 2020, and certain industries still haven’t brought employees back. According to a recent survey from The Harris Poll, commissioned by Express Employment Professionals, roughly 3 in 4 workers go to their company’s physical workspace at least once a week currently.

  • Office and administrative support employees (e.g., accountants, HR professionals): 74% at least once a week, 33% every day
  • Skilled trades employees (e.g., carpenters, electricians, hairdressers, or specialize in other consumer services): 72% at least once a week, 30% every day
  • Professional employees (e.g., lawyers, doctors, engineers, teachers): 70% at least once a week, 28% every day
  • Sales and customer service employees (e.g., sales agents, call center employees): 72% at least once a week, 28% every day
  • Light industrial employees (e.g., factory line employees, quality control, packaging): 72% at least once a week, 28% every day

 

Positive sentiments about returning to in-person work have notably increased from the second half of 2020 with 75% saying they feel completely safe in the office compared to 71% at the same time last year. In fact, most workers, 81%, say they feel comfortable returning to the office during the pandemic.

Those at smaller companies who may have lower COVID-19 risks, such as fewer people to socially distance or less work areas to clean, are most likely to say they go to their company’s physical workplaces every day.

So, what would make people feel safer near their coworkers? Survey respondents said companies can make sure all employees are vaccinated (42%), have clear protocols on what will happen if an employee tests positive for COVID-19 (31%), or have greater cleaning efforts and social distancing (30%).

What would make you feel safer about going into a physical workspace during the COVID-19 pandemic? Let us know in the comments section below!

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