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30 Oct. 2020 | Comments (0)

The Conference Board recently conducted two short surveys about organizational and employee readiness to return to the workplace after the lockdowns required by COVID-19. In the August survey with over 1,100 leaders across industries in 20 metropolitan areas, we found that 35% of organizations said the timing of reopening is unknown. Most organizations had implemented safeguarding measures to protect employee health, but only 59% surveyed their employees about their readiness to return. Those organizations that did survey their employees were very responsive, demonstrated by the fact that they were 20-40% more likely to put all of the safeguarding measures in place.

 The September survey was focused on employees and found that only 17% of employees feel very comfortable returning. The top employee concerns were contracting COVID-19 personally, the risk of exposing family to COVID-19, and the lack of an effective, available vaccine. We also found that some groups of employees feel more pressure to return than others. Without a continuous dialogue, and in many cases, the lack of a detailed plan about returning to the workplace, it comes as no surprise that many workers are apprehensive. We suggest that organizations create a two-way dialogue with their employees and implement a Continuous Listening program if they haven’t already.

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