What Do Your Employees Think About Returning to Work?
After months of lockdown, we have been returning to our daily activities gradually, including work. While many employees are still working from home, many others are back to their workplace. We have been witnesses of the impact this pandemic has as well as all the adjustments and changes that companies are taking for reopening the workplace and receiving their employees in a safe environment.
For instance, Salesforce has prepared some strategies for returning to work safely such as daily temperature screenings, wearing masks as a mandatory policy and providing smart ID badges that will allow employees to access different parts of the building and tracking them in order to identify whom they may have interacted with, in case they became positive for COVID-19. In addition to this, the company will make efforts for deep cleaning disinfection in office furniture as well as conducting the social distance by separating desks.
But are these strategies enough to guarantee a safe returning? How are employees in the US perceiving safety measures at their workplace? In this blog, we want to share with you some of our findings and thoughts.
Handling the returning to the workplace
A survey conducted by Willis Towers Watson found that 71% of US employers have prepared safety procedures for returning to work, while 32% say they are prepared for facing possible outbreaks in the future.
The same survey marks that the top measures for protecting employees are: 76% of the employers are providing PPE to their employees, 57% said they are being flexible with work schedule shifts and adjustments and 56% said they are redesigning work spaces to maintain a safe distance. From employers who said they are taking measures, only 18% plan to test employees before they return to work.
The employee’s point of view
On the other hand, a poll applied to almost 2000 employees done by Gallup: 70% said their employers stay informed about new recommendations for cleaning protocols at workplace, 58% said their employers are regularly providing them PPE and 54% said their employers encourage them to maintain the six-foot distance between themselves and customers.
However, 41% of employees said their employers check employees symptoms such as cough or fever, and 39% said their employers never conduct symptom checks at their workplace. Moreover, Gallup’s data says that almost half of the respondents are worried about potential exposure at work, and about three-quarters of US employees believe that the pandemic has negative effects on their workplace.
In fact, another survey done by Bain & Company found that 80% of US employees said they would return to work if required by their employer and if safety measures are in place. In contrast, just 20% of total employees who are still working from home said that they would not return to their workplace, despite adopted safety measures.
Returning to work looks very different now. Employers are redesigning offices and facilities are altering air ventilation, separating desks, putting down floor signage to maintain safe distancing and performing rigorous cleaning protocols. Additionally, other companies are requiring employees to take their temperature before entering the workplace, conducting COVID-19 testing and using other tools to ensure social distancing and prevent possible transmissions among employees.
But based on previous findings, it’s possible that employees might be unhappy in how employers are handling returning to work. Also, employees are still concerned about their safety at their workplaces. For this reason, we believe that not only do companies have to focus on the present but also be prepared to respond to future challenges of this pandemic.
Kwema builds safer communities by providing safety wearables to employees who are exposed to potential risks and hazards at their workplace. Our safety devices activate an emergency protocol alerting safety supervisors or 911, and are designed to avoid adoption hurdles and training costs.