45% of U.S. Workplaces Don’t Have a Return to Work Date Set

A new shows that while 53 percent of U.S. workplaces plan to reopen by July 15, at least 45 percent have yet to set a return to work date. Sponsored by the SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), the survey reveals not only when workers will return, but also the strategies and measures embraced by employers, physical changes to workplaces, and how COVID-19 has shaped policies regarding telework and childcare.

Key Findings:

  • Sixty-eight percent of organizations probably or definitely will adopt broader or more flexible work from home policies for all workers;
  • Twenty-nine percent probably or definitely will allow workers to work from home full-time through the rest of 2020;
  • Eighty-six percent of organizations are implementing or considering the required use of PPE (e.g., masks, gloves, etc.); of these, 80 percent are providing and paying for PPE;
  • Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of organizations are implementing or considering on-site medical/temperature screenings;
  • Fifty-nine percent say childcare accommodations will be handled on a case-by-case basis; only seven percent are considering or providing on-site childcare services.

(Full findings here.)

“This research gives a glimpse into how COVID-19 has changed the world of work, and what workplaces will look like once we return,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, SHRM President and CEO. “Workers should expect to see more masks, fewer handshakes, marked floors, more barriers, and greater flexibility—especially when it comes to remote work.”

Taylor added: “While that may be the scene on day one, it’s important to note this was months in the making. Getting back to work takes a lot of work, and HR professionals have played an essential role in drawing up plans that drive organizations forward and protect public health.”

The survey also examined employer plans for hiring and recruitment, reskilling and upskilling, severance packages, and the HR perspective on COVID-19. Notably, 87 percent of HR professionals report their work has been especially crucial to their employer since the outbreak began.



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