Survey Indicates Caution With Returning To Workplace
After the initial vaccine roll-out brought some positive momentum for potentially the end of the pandemic, the rise of the COVID-19 Delta variant served as a setback in many regards, from case rates on the rise to mask mandates being reinstated.
What that also means is the focus on cleaning for health and touchpoint disinfection aren’t going away any time soon. Many employees that are indeed returning to the office are expected to have the same standards for infection control as this time a year ago — as highlighted by a survey conducted by Eagle Hill Consulting Research.
Forty-four percent of working Americans say that the rise of the COVID-19 delta variant impacts their willingness to return to the workplace. Fifty percent of workers say the variant has increased concerns about contracting COVID-19. Most workers say the variant means they will take extra precautions at work (61 percent) and in their personal life (64 percent). Employees indicate that they would feel more comfortable in their workplace (64 percent) than going to a restaurant (36 percent) during the ongoing pandemic.
This workforce sentiment research from Eagle Hill Consulting comes as federal regulators have granted full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine and as many employers announce delays in back to the workplace plans due to rising COVID-19 delta variant cases, hospitalizations and deaths, largely among the unvaccinated.
When asked about whether unvaccinated employees should pay higher insurance rates, a large share of workers (41 percent) are supportive. Gen Z workers were least supportive of higher insurance rates (23 percent), while Baby Boomers were most supportive (45 percent).
The 2021 Eagle Hill Consulting COVID-19 Vaccines and the Workplace Survey measures employee sentiment about COVID-19 vaccines, returning to the workplace, as well as testing and safety protocols. Employees are split on actions employer should take before returning to in-person work, according to the research.
• Employees are evenly split (50/50) as to whether employers should mandate vaccines before workers return to the workplace.
• Employees are slightly more supportive (58 percent) of employers asking about worker vaccination status.
• Workers are split as to whether employers should provide proof of vaccination, with 52 percent supporting a documentation requirement.
• 60 percent of workers support employers offering incentives to vaccinated employees.
• Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) support employers instituting precautions for unvaccinated employees.
Employees are increasingly supportive of punitive actions for unvaccinated employees, the polling reveals.
• More than half (63 percent) of workers say non-vaccinated employees should not be given special allowances to work from home, up from 55 percent in April.
• Close to half of workers (51 percent) say non-vaccinated employees should not be allowed to travel for work, up from 44 percent in April.
• Nearly half of workers (44 percent) say non-vaccinated employees should not be permitted to work in-person with customers, up from 39 percent in April.
• Many workers (40 percent) say non-vaccinated employees should be not allowed to work in-person with co-workers, up from 35 percent in April.
• About three-fourths of workers (76 percent) say non-vaccinated employees should be able to stay with their employer, down from 83 percent in April.
There is broad support for employer COVID-19 testing and safety protocols according to the survey.
• Regarding social distancing, 77 percent concur that employers should require or encourage social distancing.
• Regarding masks, 73 percent agree on employers requiring or encouraging mask use.
• For temperature checks at the workplace, 67 percent say employers should encourage or require temperature checks.
• When it comes to regular COVID-19 testing for all employees, 61 percent support employers requiring or encouraging testing.
For more COVID-19 vaccine information, including plans of a booster dose rollout, click here.
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