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Ready They’re Not: New Citrix Survey Finds Employees Reluctant to Return to Office

Despite increased safety measures, majority of US workers polled say they would prefer to continue working from home

As the US economy prepares to re-open, businesses are readying plans to return employees to the office. But as the results of a new survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Citrix Systems, reveal, a majority of office workers currently working from home due to the coronavirus are reluctant to do so. Despite the relaxing of shelter-in-place orders and increase in safety measures, 64 percent of 2,000 US workers polled say they would not feel comfortable returning to the office for one month or more.

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“When COVID-19 began its rapid spread and remote work became a mandate, many companies viewed it as a short-term situation”

“As companies prepare to restart their operations in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it is important that they understand the concerns and expectations employees have for returning to the office,” says Donna Kimmel, Chief People Officer, Citrix. “The vast majority of workers remain anxious and want to be sure that they are not putting themselves or their families at risk and employers must factor this into their plans.”

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The Rush Isn’t On

Asked when they would be comfortable working in an office environment again, 64 percent of employees who responded to the OnePoll survey said in 30 days or more:

  • One month (22 percent)
  • Two months (19 percent)
  • Three months (14 percent)
  • Four months (5 percent)
  • Five months (2 percent)
  • More than five months (2 percent)

Safety First

When probed on what they would like their employers to require as part of reopening facilities, respondents indicated:

  • Face masks worn by all employees (46 percent)
  • Disposable gloves worn by all employees (43 percent)
  • Hand sanitizer readily available throughout office space (42 percent)
  • Health checks every two weeks with specific testing for coronavirus (41 percent)
  • Face visors/face shields worn by all employees (40 percent)
  • App installed on work-issued mobile devices to track employee movements and allow contact tracing (35 percent)
  • Self-temperature checks performed by employees and a dedicated app to submit and validate data before allowing office entry (35 percent)
  • Regular and clearly documented deep cleaning procedures (32 percent)
  • Floor markings to enforce appropriate social distancing (32 percent)
  • Thermal cameras to check temperatures before entering office space (31 percent)
  • Staggered work shifts to prevent full offices (28 percent)
  • Removal of hot desking – allocated, spaced seating only (24 percent)
  • No face-to-face meetings (23 percent)
  • Onsite cafeterias closed (18 percent)

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