Business leaders report that they expect 51% or more of employees to return to manual employment by January 2021, according to Traction Guest’s 2020 Return to Work study on the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, 90.6% of employees will take action if their employer fails to create a safe working environment in the field, including expressing concerns to the authorities or trade unions (39.5%); exploring new employment opportunities or resigning (30.7%); and consideration of legal action (20.4%).
The study also found that 43% of employees report that their employer has not introduced any technology to ensure physical health and safety since the onset of the pandemic.
“The reopening of facilities during COVID-19 presents complex challenges for employers. The associated costs and business interruptions are alarming if almost a third of employees leave because they do not feel safe on the spot. Employers have the choice of whether to protect their offices from COVID or risk losing employees, ”said Keith Metcalfe, CEO of Traction Guest.
“The software can provide significant value by directing the safe collection of health certificates and COVID-19 examinations, while centralizing shift management and emergency communications. This technology can also convince employees that their health and well-being are top priorities. “
Employee concerns and self-confidence about returning to work
The study found that 64.2% of employers report that they will return 51% or more of their workers to a manual job by the end of January 2021.
Some employers expect to have 75% of office capacity this winter:
- 15.2% of employers plan to have 75% of office capacity by winter 2020
- 27.8% of employers plan to have 75% of office capacity by spring 2021
- 38.3% of employers plan to have 75% of office capacity by summer 2021
- The study found that more than a quarter (26.2%) of employees do not feel safe in their employer’s approach of inviting staff back to the office. Additionally:
Nearly a quarter (24.9%) are unsure of their employer’s approach to screening individuals for COVID-19.
A similar amount (22.7%) does not feel confident in the communication skills of their employer in emergency situations.
Over a quarter (25.9%) of employees do not feel safe about their employer’s ability to accurately account for all people entering their workplace at all times.
When it comes to an employer’s ability to retain or delete their health data and use it appropriately, 21.4% do not feel secure in their employer’s approach. When asked what precautions would make employees safer on their way back to work, employees identified the following:
Daily checking of COVID-19 symptoms for employees before they come to the workplace (56.8%)
Frequent or routine testing on COVID-19 for all employees (55.6%). Controlled number of staff returning to work on a given day (50.6%)
Over half (51.8%) of employees believe that employee and visitor check-in / departure systems would make them safer in returning to work in the middle of COVID-19, and security access control systems (39.8%) were named as technology that would increase self-confidence of employees. However, 43% of employees report that their employer has not introduced any technology to ensure physical health and safety since the onset of the pandemic.
When asked what measures they would take if their employer did not create a safe working environment in the office, employees reported that they would:
- Express concern to authorities or unions (39.5%)
- Explore new employment opportunities or resign (30.7%)
- Consider a lawsuit against their employer (20.4%)