SURVEY

The Future of Your Workplace

and

Managing a Mixed Immunity Environment

Executive Summary

As we move from Pandemic COVID to Endemic COVID, ReturnSafe, a leader in infectious disease management (IDM), conducted a survey to gain insights into employer and employee sentiment on return-to-work strategies and the future of infectious disease in the workplace. The findings paint an uncertain future as companies struggle to develop strategies to bring employees back to physical workspaces safely. 58% of respondents said that their company has been negatively impacted by not having employees in a physical workspace over the past year. As such, getting back to work is a high priority for employers.  However, employees have major concerns about vaccination policies, social distancing, and long-term impacts of infectious diseases that impact their health and safety.

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KEY FINDINGS

Remote work has hurt company growth, culture, and employee wellbeing

of respondents said that their company went fully or partially remote during the pandemic
Almost 60% of respondents (57.85%) said that their company has been negatively impacted by not having employees in a physical workspace.
Of the respondents that said their company has been negatively impacted:
  • 40% said it stifled company growth
  • 40% said it negatively impacted their company culture
  • 32% of respondents said it hurt their finances
  • 30% said it took a toll on the health and wellbeing of their employees
  • 19% of respondents gave alternative answers:
  • “We miss being together – lunches, coffees, in-person interactions. We have grown by a lot during this time.”
  • “Our culture is learning and mentor-based, and we have always believed that some of our work time should be in person, to benefit from physical proximity and better verbal/nonverbal communication.”
  • “Some work can’t be done remote.”
  • “Our engineers have had the hardest time”
KEY FINDINGS

Getting back to work is a high priority for companies and employers, but employees have major concerns

of respondents said that they plan to go back to 100% of capacity in 2021

  • 48% of respondents said that this is a high priority

of respondents are in talks with employees about their returning to work comfortability:

  • 27% said that employees are concerned about other employees not being vaccinated
  • 16% said that employees are concerned about the lack of protocol around social distancing
  • 15% said that employees are concerned about the long-term impact of infectious diseases in the workplace
KEY FINDINGS

Business leaders are split on requiring COVID-19 vaccinations

of respondents said that they plan to go back to 100% of capacity in 2021

  • Even further, 42% said they don’t have a plan in place to manage a mixed COVID-19 immunity environment
KEY FINDINGS

COVID-19 has changed how we address sickness in the workplace, generally

of respondents said the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their company’s general sickness policy

  • 49% will require anyone feeling sick to pass a screening test before returning to work
  • 48% will require anyone feeling sick to stay home for a period of time
  • 31% will require anyone feeling sick to present a doctor’s note in order to return to work
KEY FINDINGS

Future infectious diseases are a threat to business, but nearly half of respondents don’t have plans to manage them

  • 72% of respondents said they were concerned about a future infectious disease outbreak
  • 78% of respondents said that future infectious disease outbreaks are a threat or liability to business
  • Nearly half of respondents either are not working on protocols to manage infectious diseases beyond COVID-19 or have not had the time to think about the future of infectious diseases beyond COVID-19
CONCLUSION

CONCLUSION

There is a lot of uncertainty about what the future will bring for both employers and employees. Finding the right solutions for infectious disease management may be new territory for most organizations, but it is critical to the health wellbeing of their business and employees. Companies need comprehensive solutions to not only prevent COVID-related healthcare costs from spiraling out of control, but to ease employees’ concerns and instill confidence that their health and safety is a top priority.

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Survey methodology

Survey

A survey of 122 companies was conducted from March 17-31, 2021 to better understand how employers are planning return-to-work strategies and thinking about the future of infectious disease in the workplace. Respondents were asked 21 questions that pertain to the future of work and managing mixed-immunity work environments.

The Survey was commissioned and executed by ReturnSafe.

Respondents
Industry Respondents came from a wide range of industries including building management, construction, digital agency, distribution, education, energy, entertainment, financial services, government, healthcare, law firm, manufacturing, media, nonprofit, PR agency, real estate, restaurant/hospitality, SaaS, sports & entertainment/venues
Company/Organization Size
Location
Roles Respondents included HR leaders, CEOs, CTOs, executive directors, consultants, administrators, safety supervisors, operation managers, etc.
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