JDP recently surveyed 2,000 Americans about their feelings on returning work during the Covid-19 pandemic. As it turns out, not everyone is thrilled with the idea of going back to work during a global pandemic. On the flip side of the coin, some people are actually excited for a return to normalcy and some time out of their house. A lot depends on the industry you are in, the work that you do, and how many people you come into contact with during a typical workday. Let’s take a deeper dive into the returning to work-study from JDP to see what they found.
Going back to work is going to be uncomfortable for a lot of people. JDP asked American workers who are currently working from home if they trust their coworkers to respect your boundaries around the Covid-19 situation? 69% of respondents said yes, they do think coworkers will respect their boundaries when it comes to working together in the office. Only 31% said they did not trust their coworkers to respect their personal space.
JDP then asked American workers if they thought people who volunteered to return to working in the office early would be favored by management for doing so. 62% of surveyed respondents said they did think people who return to work the first will be favored and get special treatment from management. Only 38% said they didn’t think that would happen.
The next question of the survey asked about the controversial topic of 4-day work weeks as opposed to the regular 5-day work week. JDP wanted to see if more people favored a 4-day work week during the Covid-19 pandemic to limit the number of people in the office at one time. Overwhelmingly there was a lot of support for this with 86% of respondents said they would prefer a 4-day work week moving forward as opposed to a 5-day workweek. Only 14% said they would prefer the current 5-day work week.
The survey next asked about social dynamics in the workplace and how Covid-19 will change those long- term. The responses to this question were fairly mixed. 38% of respondents said they felt it will be about the same long term. 36% felt that we’ll be less close, and bonds will weaken because of all the time spent apart during the pandemic. Only 14% said we’ll be closer, and bonds will actually strengthen as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. As you can see there are mixed feelings on whether or not people will have stronger relationships moving forward.
The next part of the survey asked about how people feel about being tested by their employer for either the virus itself or antibodies when they return to the office. 63% of workers said they would be uncomfortable submitting to a test by their employer. JDP also asked about how often they would like coworkers tested if their employer did decide to start testing people for Covid-19 at the office. The top response was weekly tests getting 31% of the votes. This was followed by daily at 20% and every few days at 19%. A majority of people would like testing at least once a week. 14% of respondents said they would prefer tests to be done every few weeks and 8% said they would prefer monthly testing. There was also another 8% who said they would prefer testing to be done every few months instead of on a more frequent basis.
The next part of the surveyed asked about how workers would feel if they had a coworker test positive for Covid-19 on the job. Surprisingly enough, 52% said they would feel pretty comfortable and believed that a positive test to only is a limited risk for their safety. 32% said they would feel totally comfortable and believed there to be no risk to them. Only 16% said they would not be comfortable at all with an employee testing positive for Covid-19.
The next part of the analysis from JDP asked about back to work measures that employers would be taking and how necessary they are to getting back to work safely. The first measure workers were asked about was human touch during working. 55% of respondents said they did not want handshakes, hugs, or fist bumps to be allowed when returning to work. 27% of people were neutral to the idea, and 18% thought it to be overkill.
The next back to work measure asked about limited people in the office. 54% of respondents were in favor of limiting the number of people allowed in both meeting rooms, bathrooms, hallways, and the office in general. 27% were neutral to that suggestion and only 18% found that to be overkill. When asked about keeping workstations six feet apart, 47% were in favor of keeping all furniture and workstations six feet apart. 36% said they were neutral to the idea and 17% said they thought it would be overkill.
Workers were next asked about limiting the number of people in the elevator at one time or banning it altogether. 47% said they would prefer limited people in the elevator during Covid-19, 36% were neutral and only 17% opposed it.
Workers were then asked about in-person health screening during Covid-19. 43% were in favor of daily health screenings while 37% said they opposed it and 20% said they were neutral. Staggered shifts with people working on different days were supported by 42% of respondents. 39% of people were in favor of staggered start times, with people arriving and leaving at different times. Others prefer transparent shields and barriers to separate people while others prefer masks to be worn at all times, including when you’re at your workstation.
This shows that we all have different comfort levels when it comes to returning to work during Covid-19. To see the full results from JDP, check out the infographic below.
Infographic by: www.jdp.com