A new Gensler report of 2,300-plus office workers found that at least half want companies to make some policy changes to keep them healthy before they return to work following COVID-19 shutdowns.
The study found that workers want stronger policies against coming to work sick, increased opportunities to work from home, and more rigorous office cleaning. A large majority of respondents said they’re more effective when they’re at the office and are eager to return.
The finding that workers prefer to work in the office is consistent with data that Gensler has collected since 2005. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, workers who had a choice about where to work spent 72% of their average work-week in the office, while just 12% worked from home.
Most respondents said they value face-to-face interactions over virtual ones, and miss their ability to communicate with their co-workers in person. To feel comfortable returning to the office, however, workers want their employers to adopt social distancing practices, and are open to adopting a shift schedule or a wider variety of working hours.