Human Resources, Safety

Vast Majority of Workers More Wary of Offices Amid COVID-19 Variants

With the rise of new COVID-19 variants, 87% of workers have heightened concerns about working in an office building, according to a new survey.

Honeywell released initial findings from its second annual study on workers’ perceptions and feelings on the health and safety of their workplace. Conducted by Wakefield Research, the study surveyed 3,000 office workers who typically work in buildings with 500 or more employees across the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, India, the Middle East and ASEAN.

Highlights from the study include:

  • Despite the broad rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations, there was a 19-percentage-point increase in concern about working in an office building compared to last year’s findings. Results from the January 2021 survey, of a smaller sample size, showed 68% of workers not feeling completely safe working in their employer’s buildings at the time.
  • 62% of all respondents would leave their job if their employer does not take necessary measures to create a healthier indoor environment that promotes well-being.
  • When asked their thoughts on what poses a bigger threat to their safety, nearly 3 in 5 (57%) of those surveyed noted co-workers not following safety guidelines, while more than 2 in 5 (43%) said outdated ventilation systems.

“Many companies have been forced to again rethink their return-to-office strategies given rising infection rates,” said Manish Sharma, Vice President, Chief Technology and Chief Product Officer for Honeywell Building Technologies. “These insights imply that employers need to continue to consider how they are creating healthier and safer workspaces, in particular related to improving indoor air quality and tracking compliance to guidelines such as social distancing and mask wearing. In the long term, creating a healthier workplace can be a competitive advantage to drive employee satisfaction and retainment.”

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