News: 54% of employees in UK are still reluctant to return to work

Talent Management

54% of employees in UK are still reluctant to return to work

The survey found that commuting was one of the biggest concerns employees held about returning to the workplace
54% of employees in UK are still reluctant to return to work

More than half of workers in the UK are still reluctant to return to the office over fears they might contract coronavirus, despite employers spending hundreds of millions of pounds per month in an attempt to make workplaces ‘COVID secure’, a study by People Management has found.

A poll of 5,000 UK workers and 2,000 employers conducted by Huma found more than half (54 percent) of workers were still reluctant to return to work because of concerns they could catch the virus.

This was in spite of employers collectively spending £674m a month on preparations to return their staff to the workplace, according to the research, including new hygiene protocols, purchasing PPE and changing office layouts to aid social distancing – equating to an average of £58.55 per month per employee.

The study suggested that low confidence levels could be caused by poor communication. Of the employees polled, only a quarter (24 percent) felt fully informed of the new safety protocols in their workplace, and the same proportion of businesses said they were prioritising communicating these changes to their employees.

Only one in five (20 percent) employers felt suitably informed themselves about what policies and procedures they needed to implement to make their workplaces Covid secure.

The survey found that commuting was one of the biggest concerns employees held about returning to the workplace (29 percent), followed by the risk of infection from colleagues (24 per cent) and from attending meetings (23 per cent). The risks that the workplace itself posed was the lowest concern, cited by just 19 per cent of respondents.

When it came to making staff feel safer, the majority of businesses (70 percent) were willing to pay for a COVID-19 test should an employee request one, and two-thirds (67 percent) of employees would be willing to do a daily symptom check-in with their employer. 

Nine in 10 (88 percent) companies were agreeable with monitoring and tracking staff symptoms, and the majority of employees (71 percent) would be comfortable with employers doing so.

n the survey more than two in five businesses (45 per cent) said they would be ready to welcome staff back to the office before the end of August, while a fifth (19 per cent) will not be ready until the first half of 2021.

This was largely in line with the findings of a recent People Management survey, which found that many employers were planning to send back staff to the office from the beginning of September (21 per cent) or in the autumn (21 per cent). In the poll of 463 readers one in 10 (10 per cent) said they had planned to have staff back at the beginning of August.

 

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Topics: Talent Management

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