Survey Finds Employees Are In No Rush to Return to the Office, Even With a Vaccine
Thursday, February 25th, 2021
CHG Healthcare, the nation's largest privately held healthcare staffing company, surveyed more than 850 U.S. workers across the country, ranging from ages 18-71, about their feelings on returning to work while the coronavirus remains a health threat.
"CHG Healthcare is one of many U.S. companies that choose to move all employees out of our offices and into their homes when back in March of 2020," said Kevin Ricklefs, chief culture officer at CHG Healthcare. "We are still determining what returning to the office will look like for our organization and know other companies are in the same boat. We hope these survey results can help guide employers to create a return-to-office plan that focuses on what's best for their employees and the health of their organizations."
Key findings from the study include:
Working from home positively impacted some workers
Mental health in the workplace has become a major concern over the past few years, and during the pandemic it has only increased. Surprisingly, over a third (35%) of respondents said working from home during this time positively impacted their mental health. Over a quarter (26%) indicated a negative impact, and 39% reported no change to their mental health.
Of those who indicated working remotely negatively impacted their mental health, an overwhelming majority (82%) believe returning to the office will improve their mental health.
Workers expect flexible schedules and increased safety precautions when offices re-open
As employers work on their return-to-office plans, employees are anticipating more opportunities for remote/virtual work (26%) and more flexible work schedules (22%) — more than half (54%) of respondents indicated that they are more interested in having a hybrid in-office/work-from-home schedule. Nearly a third (32%) have no interest in returning to a physical office, preferring to work from home or virtually. Only 9% want to go back to the office fulltime.
Workers are also expecting companies to put additional health policies in place. More than three quarters of employees (79%) want their employer to enforce extended time away from the office when an employee falls ill. An additional group of respondents (17%) want increased safety measures including masks, spacing between employees and limited social gatherings.
Many workers want to remain remote, despite the availability of a vaccine
With a growing number of people receiving the coronavirus vaccine every day, we asked employees whether that would impact their decision to return to work in their office. Just over a quarter of respondents (27%) stated they would feel comfortable returning to the office once vaccines are available, while 20% stated they were never concerned about returning to the office, and a third still preferred working from home.
A large portion of respondents (44%) said they prefer their employer require employees to be vaccinated before returning to the office, while 33% don't think the vaccination should be required before returning, and 23% don't have an opinion.
View the entire report here.