Workers Want to Return to the Office, But Only if Safety is First Priority

Workers Want to Return to the Office, But Only if Safety is First Priority

A new study found that 85 percent of workers want to return to the office, but only if COVID-19 precautions are put in place.

One long year has passed since office buildings went quiet, halls emptied out and cubicles sat vacant at offices around the country. The workforce nostalgia for water cooler talks, in-person meetings and a commute to work is getting stronger with each day that employees work from home.

A new Return to Office Survey conducted by Eden Workplace has found that after a year of COVID-19 quarantine, 85 percent of workers want to return to the office. These workers are not quite ready for things to be back to “normal,” however. Of those surveyed, 61 percent want strict enforcement of COVID-related workplace regulations by their employers. In fact, a quarter (26 percent) even feel that employees who violate COVID safety rules should face steep consequences of being demoted or even fired.

“The survey results were illuminating,” said Eden Workplace CEO Joe Du Bey in a press release. “The data showcases just how strong the national demand is among employees to return to the office, but also how insistent they are that employers provide a safe environment. The enthusiasm was universal, but it was especially strong for earlier career team members, which I found interesting. It is clear that people miss seeing their colleagues, and I also believe that a more flexible future is desired with a shift to the hybrid office.”

The results showed that different age groups had different perspectives on returning to the office. While 89 percent of millennials wish to return, only 80 percent of baby boomers felt the same.

The findings also showed that employers will have to rethink their traditional approach to in-house proceedings. Of those surveyed, two-thirds of workers say they will not be comfortable with in-person meetings unless everyone in attendance is at least six feet apart. Also of note, the majority of workers (71 percent) expected free hand sanitizer, company-provided masks, and their workspace to be socially distanced.

The study did note there were some workers surveyed who never worked from home during the course of the last year. Those workers were far more likely to not want their employer to enforce COVID rules, compared to those who have been working from home.

Review the full results from the Eden Workplace Return to Office Survey here.

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