Return to workplaces: key considerations for employers – survey results

On 16 July we launched our Return to workplaces survey seeking views on what employers are planning for their workforce as more people return to the workplace. Over 90 organisations responded, revealing an overall picture of a cautious return with a wide range of COVID safety measures remaining in place for some time to come.

The majority of organisations are planning a phased return to the workplace, with the most common timescales being 1-3 months and 3-6 months, although a small minority are planning a longer period.

The majority of respondents said that their organisation would be implementing enhanced cleaning, instructions to staff to clean hands regularly, provision of hand sanitizer and measures to avoid unnecessary contact including social distancing, one way flow arrangements, managing occupancy and staggering arrival times. Just over a quarter said that staff would be required to wear face coverings. Just under a quarter said that they would be carrying out lateral flow testing. A third of respondents said that they would be consulting with staff or their representatives regarding workplace health and safety measures.

The majority of respondents said that they would be implementing greater flexibility in working arrangements, either via hybrid working arrangements or allowing employees flexibility to choose.

Most organisations are not planning to require their workers to disclose their vaccination status, but some may ask in order to assess whether workers need to self-isolate following contact with a positive case.