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What are your feelings on returning to the physical office?

COVID-19 has had a profound impact on all of our lives. If you follow Obstacle Fitness on LinkedIn (and if you don't, you should!), you've seen the articles and studies we've shared on the impact that COVID-19 has had on working moms. But COVID-19 has affected everyone and the perception that people have about their employers is concerning.

As people slowly start to re-emerge from months of quarantining, employers are starting to open up their physical workplaces again. Envoy recently conducted a survey that polled workers on their concerns around returning to the physical workplace. They shared four primary findings from the survey:

  1. Ninety percent of respondents want to return to their workplace in some capacity.

  2. Employees are concerned that safety precautions are not enforced and not effective.

  3. Proximity to sick coworkers and privacy concerns top the list of workplace worries.

  4. Return to work sentiment exposes workplace class divisions.

Of those that responded to the survey, a fifth had returned to their workplace in some capacity and almost 49% had never stopped working on-site. For those employees who have returned to the workplace, 42% reported ineffective or unenforced preventive measures, such as rules around six-feet distancing, mask requirements and handwashing requirements.

People shouldn't be forced to come to work if they're sick. It's been largely established these past months that people can work remotely and still be effective. If people don't feel well, they should stay home. Additionally, they shouldn't be pressured to share personal health information.

The survey results also showed that those who work in construction, manufacturing, retail or service industries are less likely than those in business or tech services to leave their job, even if they're unhappy with their employers' practices. This didn't surprise me either.

This isn't an HR issue--it's a leadership issue. Executives at the top set the tone for their company. HR can post flyers and send emails about workplace safety, but if leadership doesn't care, then nobody will care.

Are you back in the office yet? Is everybody back in the office or has the company set up a rotating schedule? What do you think should be done to address this situation?

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