American Workers Rely on Employers to Make Them Feel Comfortable in Return to Work, Randstad USA Survey Shows

  • Survey Also Shows Most Workers Don’t Miss the Office & Expect New Benefits

With the Delta variant delaying many companies’ plans to re-open their workplaces, nearly three-fourths (73%) of American workers remain concerned about the level of workplace safety standards and cleanliness as protection against COVID-19, according to a new Randstad USA survey. The findings strongly suggest that workers are most concerned about factors outside of their control – and that employers and business leaders will be responsible for mitigating those concerns.

More than one-in-three workers (38%) would like to see their employer require proof of vaccination before re-opening their workplace, while a similar percentage (34%) consider the behavior of their coworkers their first or second concern about on-site work. Nearly one-in-four workers (23%) cite uncertainty regarding the vaccination status of their colleagues as their top concern.

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The findings are part of Randstad USA’s Next Normal omnibus survey, which is designed to take a snapshot of worker perspectives on an unprecedented American labor market. The survey captures their thoughts on their work lives, expectations, and concerns about the pandemic.

“After the uncertainty they’ve experienced over the last 18 months, American workers are signifying that they are still counting on their employers for stability and workplace safety,” said Karen Fichuk, CEO of Randstad North America and Randstad N.V. executive board member. “Workers are looking to their employers for clear leadership in communicating the company’s COVID-19 protocols and ensuring that all workers follow those standards – not always a simple task. This comes at a time when employers are juggling other priorities like implementing new benefits and enabling more flexible schedules, alongside recruitment and retention challenges amid the continued tight labor market.”

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The majority of people also do not miss working in an office. Most workers (62%) who were able to work off-site during the pandemic do not miss the office – though they do miss in-person interaction with colleagues – and the vast majority (81%) believe they are more productive or as productive as they were prior to COVID-19. At the same time – in what is a bright spot for employers – nearly three-in-four (73%) will not look for a new job if their boss mandates a return to the office full time.

The new survey data is consistent with previous Randstad USA studies, which have found that US workers are expecting new benefits and perks from their employer. Nearly one-in-four American workers (23.8%) consider flexible hours as the most important benefit, and one-in-five rank childcare or stipend benefits as their most important benefit.

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