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Majority of Workers Want Safe Return to Office

Excerpted from Eden Workplace survey published 3/10/2021Safe return to workplace

85% of office workers are looking forward to returning to the office in some capacity according to research.  This however, does not necessarily reflect non-office or contrach workers.

Eden Workplace released findings from its Eden Workplace Return to Office Survey, which finds that at the 1 year mark of quarantine, 85% of office workers are looking forward to returning to the office in some capacity. The survey was conducted by Wakefield Research and involved 1,000 nationally representative U.S. full- and part-time office workers ages 18+ between February 9th and February 17th 2021.

As the availability of COVID-19 vaccines has elevated discussions about employees returning to the office, the survey reveals more than half (52%) of office workers report socializing with colleagues as their top reason for wanting to return to the office. Other missed benefits by employees included having access to proper work equipment (44%) and getting out of the home (44%).

Attitude Differences by Segment 

The results also indicate different perspectives by age, ethnicity, and education levels. While 89% of millennials wish to return to the office, only 80% of baby boomers felt the same. Also, while 90% of non-white office workers expressed that they were looking forward to returning to the office, the results for white office workers were slightly lower at 84%. In terms of education, those with a college degree were the most likely to want to return at 90%.

Employee Health & Safety

The survey results also feature a number of insights related to safety, including that more than 3 in 5 (61%) respondents want strict enforcement of COVID-related workplace regulations by their employers. In fact, a quarter (26%) even feel that employees who violate COVID safety rules should face the steep consequence of being demoted or even fired.

The survey data showcases just how strong the national demand is among employees to return to the office, but also how insistent they are that employers provide a safe environment. The enthusiasm was universal, but it was especially strong for earlier career team members as well as non-white team members. It is clear that people miss seeing their colleagues.  A more flexible future is desired with a shift to the hybrid office.

Other Key Fndings

Employers are going to have to rethink their approach to traditional in-house proceedings.

  • Two-thirds of office workers (66%) will not be comfortable with in-person meetings unless everyone in attendance is at least six feet apart.

While most workers miss their coworkers and they don’t expect a major shift in how they will dress for work.

  • More than half (53%) expect to return to their pre-COVID, in-office dress style.
  • Another 23% think their colleagues will use the opportunity to showcase more formal attire (9%) or stylish and chic outfits (15%). On the flip side, 24% expect their colleagues to dress as casually as they did while working from home.
COVID Protections

Most workers feel basic COVID protections are important, but there is a large discrepancy among employee expectations depending upon access to COVID health and safety information and their level of displacement during quarantine.

  • The vast majority of workers expect free hand sanitizer (71%), company-provided masks (61%), and their workspace to be socially distanced (59%).
  • Meanwhile, those who never worked from home are far more likely to not want their employer to enforce COVID rules (46%), compared to those who have been working from home during quarantine (38%) and those who have already returned to the office (33%).
Technology to Keep Employees Safe

One prominent theme from the data is that, despite some variation in employee expectations about how the return to the office will roll out, they want to go back. Working from home clearly has its place, but the drive among workers to be among peers and colleagues is extraordinary. The timeline for a full return to the office is fluid, but it seems that we have turned a corner. It is therefore critical that employers invest in the proper technologies to help them manage their space and keep their employees safe.

You can review the full results from the Eden Workplace Return to Office Survey here.

Flexicrew Staffing Keeps you Informed

Flexicrew will continue to monitor changes in the workspace, worker attitudes and employer actions.  Stop back for pertinent findings.

How Coronavirus Could Alter Work Practices Permanently

What’s the Pandemic Work Situation?

This post looks at what we see the current workplace situation and the distinct trend towards remote work.

The WHO officially declared the Coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak to be a global pandemic, and the U.S. acknowledged the pandemic as a national emergency . We’re all in the midst of this profoundly distressing setting, and we sense that everyone is in a state of apprehension waiting to see what will occur next.

Major companies have been allowing or directing employees to work-from-home. Bloomberg stated: “We’re about to embark on the world’s largest work from home experiment.” Giant corporations have sent out memos to their millions of employees across thousands of offices to notify them to work outside the workplace, while other large firms have mandated operating remote.

remote worker

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant distress, and we at Flexicrew want to assert that we are not trying to make any declarations that are out of our depth in this article. What we are trying to accomplish is to discuss the possible long-term effect that these circumstances can have on workplaces, teams, leadership, employees and temporary workers – something that we’re genuinely obsessive about.  Our objective is to point out a new workplace direction that employers should consider in future plans

COVID-19 Drives Trend toward Work-At-Home

Authorities are forecasting Coronavirus pandemic may ignite a wide-ranging change from today’s economy and workforce. Stocks for businesses like Zoom that hav a prtial counter to ‘shelter-in-place’ have been up by 50% in 2020.  Professionals like Elspeth Cheung, global valuation director at consultancy Kantar Millward Brown, said: “this is going to have a long term impact on how we work on a virtual basis.…once we develop this habit of living our lives online that will change our long term consumption habits.”

Experts See The Long-Term Transition To Remote Work

In truth, the pandemic may inspire an enduring change in the way and location where labor is accomplished in companies. Another expert, Erin Kelly (a professor of work and organization studies at MIT), suggests that despite being a frightful public health danger, the COVID-19 pandemic could possibly “give us a chance to rethink how work is organized,” and that it could be the “nudge that companies need to let go of outdated policies and practices.” This dreadful outbreak may make working remote the new normal in business.

With the present epidemic, though, having employees work out of the office has at this point become appealing, and for many companies, compulsory.

We conclude that the key matter is – could working from home become a new routine for employees?

The progress of remote work has escalated in recent years, even before the pressure of COVID-19. With this fact as background, some estimates or forecasts indicate that 73% of all teams in the workforce will have remote workers by 2028.

It appears that working from home gives eligible workers more autonomy yet doesn’t impact business performance.  It also leads to reduced anxiety, more satisfaction, and improved retention of workers. When employees have the opportunity to work from home, burnout is down, and job satisfaction is up.

All positives… 

Remote work therefore, for convincingly tangible rationale, is swiftly becoming a broadly – acknowledged standard in present organizations, and it gives us the impression that Coronavirus pandemic could possibly further hasten the speed with which this occurs.

Flexicrew acknowledges this possibility and concludes it’s essential for our clients and other employers to challenge themselves to make recovery and post-recovery planning and strategies that include remote work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At Flexicrew, we are preparing ourselves to efficiently find, recruit, and onboard qualified remote workers in preparation for a future sea-change and to best be able to support and advise our clients.  Call us for advice or recruiting quality remote workers.

Ask the Flexpert…What Key Elements should a Work-at-Home Policy Include?

There are six key areas a sensible Work-at-Home Policy should contain.  There are several other areas we touch on in other Flexicrew blog posts, which we haven’t touched on here (e.g. equipment and health/safety of remote work environment).

Characiture of Flexpert

Qualifications

Determine what positions are entitled to work remote, and confirm those in your policy. If you have no remote-compliant positions state that right from the get-go, reducing future requests about remote work.

Availability

If you allow remote work, then you should outline standards in the policy. Whether it’s establishing a universal 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. work requirement, or letting employees set their own schedules – either should be set out in your guidelines.

Response

State if a remote worker must respond to a co-worker at once, and also define what method of contact need be used.

 Performance Assessment

Define how a remote employee’s results will be assessed.

Tech support

Specify what tech support the employer will provide to remote employees. Outline what remote employees are expected to do when having technical difficulties, so there is a clear, unambiguous process.

Security

When (hard copy or digital) information is removed from the facility, security can no longer be guaranteed. Employees, especially need to be very careful when doing work in public spaces (if acceptable) and policies need to be put in place to guarantee electronic security as well as proper disposal of documents.

Need Assistance

If you need some help with a Work-at-Home Policy in this uncertain labor market, contact Flexicrew Today!  Our remote-working professionals will be glad to share their personal experience.