Survey Says! How Do Employees Really Feel About Returning to Work?

How do Americans really feel about returning to the workplace? Survey says…it’s complicated.

A study conducted by Qualtrics of more than 2,000 Americans at the end of April asked people what needed to be true for them to feel confident returning to the workplace, dining at restaurants, and visiting other public establishments.

What they found is that the American workforce is not confident about returning to the workplace. At the time, two out of three people said they would feel uncomfortable returning to the workplace and this spanned across the generations; more than 65% in every age group reported being uncomfortable returning to the workplace.

Expectations varied about the timing of returning to the workplace with 25% of respondents expecting to return to the workplace in May and 28% more expect to by the end of June. Nearly half (48%) thought they would not return until August or later.

To feel comfortable returning to the workplace, most people said they wanted assurance from authorities with 63% of respondents said they would want the CDC to say it’s safe, and half said their state and local officials saying the same would help. Just under half of the respondents said treatment or vaccine would make them feel safe returning.

What’s Changed? 

It’s likely that your company has already conducted or will soon begin conducting your own return-to-work surveys. A full month has passed since the Qualtrics survey mentioned in this article was conducted. Do the above survey results mirror those of your organization’s or are they different? If they differ, how so? The answers to these questions will be important to note as your organization continues to monitor changes in how your employees feel about work during the pandemic.

During times of crisis, sentiments can change quickly. You will need to conduct regular ongoing surveys for many months to gain a more complete picture about how your employees’ confidence and concerns are evolving.

Here are some tips from Quantum Workplace about what questions to ask your employees regarding re-opening the workplace during the Covid-19 outbreak, as well as different methods for gathering the information including one on one conversations, pulse surveys, and more. They have also included sample questions and templates to use in your own surveys over the coming months.

Nothing about the Covid-19 crisis has been simple or clear. However, it’s always a good idea to keep safety and well-being a top priority, leave communication lines open, continue to check-in regularly, and address significant issues right away.

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