The majority of employees (88%) support having their temperature checked or having to wear personal protective equipment (85%) when they return to the workplace, but few feel comfortable returning to work within the next few months.
According to research by communications firm Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW) and consultancy PSB, six in 10 employees expected to return to the office by the end of August, but were concerned that this would result in bringing Covid-19 into their home (45%) and that colleagues would not take proper precautions (31%).
As well as the wearing of PPE and undergoing temperature checks, 70% wanted routine Covid-19 testing to take place, although half thought this was unlikely to happen in their organisation.
Seventy-two per cent said they would feel more comfortable about returning if all employees in the office had been certified as receiving the Covid-19 vaccine if and when it becomes available, yet 44% believed this was also unlikely.
Two-thirds expected desks to be separated and 72% wanted additional cleaning protocols to be introduced, the survey of 500 workers revealed.
James Morley, head of business transformation at BCW, said: “Business leaders need to be planning for the long-term and taking action now. Forward thinking bosses know that the way they support staff has a huge bearing on their future ability to attract and retain talent on the back of the crisis. As such, managers play a key role in supporting their teams: showing they are listening and consulting, addressing the concerns of those who are nervous while also laying out clear, realistic and concrete actions, communicating plans effectively and ensuring they deliver.”
Clarissa Valiquette, MD of PSB Insights EMEA, said: “Returning to work will be a tricky balance for employers and employees alike, but a continuation of flexible policies, demonstrating empathy and providing clear guidelines and safety protocols will drive comfort and ultimately, employee engagement.”