Key concerns employers need to be mindful of as offices reopen

The following article builds upon ManpowerGroup’s ‘The Future for Workers, By Workers: Making the Next Normal Better for All’ whitepaper. To read the full report, download below.

As lockdowns lift and restrictions ease, UK workers want to feel reassured that their health, safety and wellbeing are prioritised when returning to the workplace. Trust and transparency have never been more important, and the best employers know they need data and insight to instil confidence.

When compiling data for our recent ‘The Future for Workers, By Workers report, we interviewed 1,000 workers across the UK on their thoughts on the future, and greatest fears regarding a return to work. With 73% of interviewees expressing negative sentiments around going back to the workplace, below are the key concerns employers should be mindful of as back to work plans are established and offices reopened.

A majority of workers fear a second wave of the virus

The number one concern a majority of workers have regarding returning to the workplace is the risk of a second wave of the virus. Understandably, now that home working has become normal practice for many workers, they view a return to their previous workplace as an increased risk.

It is important that open communication exists, to allow employees to feel that their concerns are heard and taken into consideration as next steps are established for the company.

Employees have enjoyed the increase in flexibility and don’t want to lose it

Since March, the UK has seen millions of workers successfully shift to remote work setups that were previously unimaginable. Now, many workers fear that returning to the office could result in them losing this newly gained flexibility regarding when, where and how they get work done.

Taking pulse surveys and speaking with managers about the success of these practices will be important to ensure that future plans enable employees to work productively. Companies can consider surveying their workforce to see is maintaining flexibility is a priority moving forward.

9-5 may need to be rethought, at least for a while

Public transportation is viewed as a key concern for workers thinking about venturing away from their home office setup. With peak commuting times seen as putting workers has an increased risk of catching the virus, staggered shift patterns could be a possible way to remove pressure on train systems and allow employees to have more confidence in the journey to work.

A majority of workers in the UK are willing to comply with testing, tracking and tracing procedures at work but employers should remember that people will only be available to comply with these measures if they feel safe returning to the workplace.

Download the full report below to gain essential insights into how companies and workers can adapt to make the next normal better for all.

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